Tehran, April 20 : Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has called for full withdrawal of all US forces from the Gulf and West Asia.
In a statement on Sunday, the IRGC Navy said that the “illegal” presence of US forces in the region was the source of insecurity in the West Asia, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The only way to establish sustainable security in this region is the complete withdrawal of Americans from West Asia,” said the statement.
The IRGC announcement came as a reaction to the US Navy’s recent statement that 11 military vessels of the IRGC conducted “dangerous and provocative actions” near American Navy and Coast Guard ships in international waters in the Gulf on April 15.
The IRGC said that during recent weeks, the US naval forces have repeatedly behaved in an “unprofessional” manner in the Gulf, which has threatened regional peace and given rise to new risks.
“Therefore, in order to prevent the continuation of illegal, unprofessional, dangerous and even adventurist behaviour of the American terrorists and also to ensure security for Iranian vessels and fight fuel smuggling, the IRGC Navy increased its marine patrols in the Gulf and on April 15 dispatched a group of its vessels, comprised of 11 boats, to the region, where they came face to face with the American warships and military vessels,” it said.
The statement added that although the American vessels at first ignored warnings from the IRGC boats and behaved in an unprofessional and provocative manner, they finally had to clear the way for the IRGC Navy’s boats and leave the area.
“We advise the Americans to follow international regulations and maritime protocols in the Gulf and the Sea of Oman and to refrain from any adventurism and false stories,” according to the statement.
On April 17, Iran’s Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said that the US was the cause of insecurity in the Gulf.
The “illegal and aggressive” presence of the US forces in the Gulf has been the source of problems for the regional people, Hatami said on the occasion of Iran’s Army Day.
In a tweet on April 16, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also slammed the US presence in the waters to the south of Iran, saying that the American forces have come to the Gulf “7,000 miles away from its borders”.