The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy (I.R.G.C.-N.) said Wednesday that the naval forces of the United States and its allies are afraid of Iran’s “superior” naval power in the Persian Gulf. “America today admits that it cannot confront Iran’s naval military power,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi claimed. "The I.R.G.C. Navy is fully ready against foreign threats and 100 light and heavy vessels are prepared to defend the country's water borders against the U.S. and its regional allies every day," he added. "Today, the one who feels endangered at the water borders is the Americans." Last month, Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri echoed similar remarks and warned the United States military to be more careful about the movements of its warships in the Persian Gulf.
Comment: In recent months, U.S. naval officials have repeatedly complained about Iran’s hostile maritime actions that disrupt international navigation in the Persian Gulf. U.S. military officials caution that the Iranian naval forces’ “irresponsible” behavior could result in miscalculation and trigger an armed confrontation.
Last month, the George H.W. Bush – a U.S. aircraft carrier – confronted a number of Iranian Navy fast-attack boats approaching a U.S.-led five-vessel flotilla as it entered the Strait of Hormuz. The incident reportedly prompted the U.S. warship to send helicopter gunships to deter Iranians speedboats, some of which had reached as close as half a mile away from the aircraft carrier.
"What I don't like about that is they (Iranian boats) were in the middle of international transit waters (while) we had a right to be there as we were exercising freedom of navigation on our way into the Arabian Gulf," Rear Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, commander of the Carrier Strike Group 2, told journalists aboard the aircraft carrier. "They also had weapons uncovered as some of the cameras were able to tell. They had some of the weapons manned. We also have aerial data that they were arming all of these weapons."
On March 9, Centcom commander Gen. Joseph Votel told the U.S. Congress that Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.)’s naval forces had increased their “unprofessional, unsafe and abnormal” maritime activities and regularly harassed U.S. ships in the Gulf region. "We have to hold Iran accountable,” he stressed. His comment came just days after the I.R.G.C. had sent fast-attack boats close to the U.S.N.S. Invincible in the Strait of Hormuz, forcing the U.S. ship to change course.
In reaction to Votel’s remarks, Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan called on Washington to leave the region. “What are the Americans doing in the Persian Gulf? It is better they leave this region and do not create trouble for the regional countries,” he said. “Is it acceptable that an armed, insane thief breaks into someone’s house and expects the red carpet to be rolled out for him?”