The United States’ warships will be destroyed if they threaten Tehran’s security in the Gulf, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Chief warned the US on Thursday. The warning comes a day after US President Donald Trump warned Iran over harassment of US ships on Twitter.
“I have ordered our naval forces to destroy any American terrorist force in the Persian Gulf that threatens the security of Iran’s military or non-military ships,” Hossein Salami said during an interview with local media.
“Security of the Persian Gulf is part of Iran’s strategic priorities,” he also added.
Taking to the micro-blogging site on Wednesday, Trump said that he had instructed the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea.
His comments came after Trump said on Twitter he had “instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea”.
The Pentagon later said the US military considered the tweet a message to the Iranian regime, suggesting that no new orders had been issued to US Navy ships patrolling the Gulf.
The US Defence Department had accused Iran of “dangerous and provocative” actions in the Gulf. The US department had said that eleven Iran boats had “repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns” of US vessels in international waters.
Iran dismissed the US allegation, saying that it was a “Hollywood account of the encounter” while warning the US that any “miscalculation will receive a decisive response”.
The tensions between the two nations have escalated since a US drone strike killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, the former head of the country’s elite Quds Force.
However, with the coronavirus sweeping the country Iran has accused the US of hurting it with sanctions at a time when its citizens are suffering.