Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Iran warns foreign warships in Persian Gulf

"The transit of ships via Persian Gulf is not illegal, but presence of foreign warships in the Persian Gulf on the pretext of thwarting threats is unacceptable," Firouzabadi said. 

He said that the Iranian navy fleet is in full control of the region investigating destination and cargo of any ship or vessel moving to pass through the area. 

"The Iranian navy warships are stationed in the Persian Gulf waters and they permit the transit of foreign ships after registering their name and other details," he added. 

He noted that the transit of American, British, French and Russian vessels to the Persian Gulf are taking place for many years and it shows their grudge for the region's oil resources. 

"The foreign countries have signed pacts with each other according to which each of them account for some the expenses of their presence in the region for plundering the region's oil resources," Major-General Firouzabadi said. 

He pointed out that the southern territorial coast of the Islamic Republic of Iran spread from the north of the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Hormuz. 

The Iranian Army Navy and the IRGC Navy have tight cooperation in controlling the country's waterways and protecting Iran's interests inside territorial waters and in the high seas. 

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei in a ceremony to commemorate the National Navy Day in November praised the close cooperation between the naval forces of the Islamic Republic Army and the IRGC. 

Iran's naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy also said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces. 

According to the report, Iran's Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world's oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz. 

The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran's response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets. 

The Islamic Republic's top military officials have repeatedly warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, the country would target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. 

An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway. 

A recent study by a fellow at Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Caitlin Talmadge, warned that Iran could use mines as well as missiles to block the strait, and that "it could take many weeks, even months, to restore the full flow of commerce, and more time still for the oil markets to be convinced that stability had returned". 
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