“Iran has reached such a high degree of power and capability that can respond in kind to any US action and mischief [in the region], including the seizure of ships,” the IRGC’s spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said on Monday.
He added that regional countries have “correctly understood that Iran is turning into a big power in the region.”
The IRGC’s spokesman added, “In any direct battle between Iran and the United States during recent years, regional countries have seen the weakness of America and the power of the Islamic Republic, and have understood that the security of the Persian Gulf must be established by its own littoral countries.”
Sharif’s remarks came after the US Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on Monday that the US Navy has deployed more than 3,000 sailors and Marine forces to West Asia under the pretext of protecting ships and vessels crossing the main waterways in the strategic region.
It added that the forces from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) have arrived in West Asia.
The move was made after US Navy accused Iran of “attacking, seizing or attempting to seize” nearly 20 internationally flagged merchant vessels in the region over the past two years.
However, despite Washington’s claims, the IRGC’s Navy has over the past years foiled several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers in the strategic Persian Gulf region and other high seas.
The IRGC’s Navy also confiscated more than 50 million liters of smuggled fuel, mainly diesel, in various missions last year.
Iran says it views US military vessels lurking in the waters of the Persian Gulf as a threat to its security and a source of tension and instability in the region.
Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces, said on Saturday that security of the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean has nothing to do with the United States.
“What the security of the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean has to do with America? What are you (US forces) doing here?” the commander said, adding, “All the countries in the region are capable of establishing security in these waters.”