The United States does not have the capability to engage Iran in a war on land, air or sea, a top Iranian Navy commander charged Saturday night boasting of his nation’s military prowess.
The remarks downplaying US power came days after an uptick in tensions between Washington and Tehran due to multiple instances of Iranian vessels encountering US warships in the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz.
Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with US warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday.
However, in a speech to volunteer forces Saturday night, Fadavi claimed that Iran has confined the United States’s maritime military abilities in the region, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.
In his boastful rhetoric, the Revolutionary Guards admiral also asserted that Iranian patrols have deterred US warships from approaching the Islamic Republic’s territorial waters for years.
The comments came despite the easing of years of mutual animosity when Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran in January after a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions but serious differences still remain over Iran’s ballistic missile program, Syria and Iraq.
Nonetheless, in May Fadavi also spoke of the US presence in the region as driving insecurity. According to Fars, he called on Washington to withdraw all its troops from the area, adding that the Americans “do not dare” attack Iran out of fear that backlash could hinder its interests in the Middle East.
“No one dares to give a dirty look at Iran let alone launching a war,” he was quoted as saying.