Diplomacy

Ahead of Nuclear Deadline, Iran Threatens to Attack U.S. Navy

Ahead of nuclear talks expected to take place next week in Oman, Iran is renewing militant threats against the United States and its allies.

Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the naval force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, made a further clear and explicit threat to the US, promising to destroy its fleet in the Persian Gulf waters if the U.S. refuses to withdraw from the area.

According to the Baqa Today website (Arabic link), Fadavi stressed that “Americans removal from the Gulf is one of the basic tasks of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards,” threatening that his forces could destroy and sink the US fleet “in 50 seconds.”

Fadavi, who leads the unit guarding the waters of the Gulf and the strategically critical Strait of Hormuz, was quoted by Baqa Today as saying that his forces “conducted many exercises to attack the US fleet”. He added, “Although the Americans are committed to their movement within the limits of international waters, we monitor their movements.”

Fadavi has made similar statements before. In May of this year, he announced that “today the Americans and the entire world know that one of our operational goals is destroying US Navy Forces.” And in September, he claimed that “we have the necessary equipment to destroy American aircraft carries [sic] and warplanes in the Gulf.”

Additionally, In a statement released yesterday and published by the Fars news agency, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps reiterated that the US is still the main enemy of Iran and its Islamic Revolution, saying that “the US is still the great Satan and the number one enemy of the (Islamic) revolution and the Islamic Republic.”

And another Iranian official also threatened (Arabic link) last week that his country will bomb Israel in the event of the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, his American counterpart John Kerry, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton are due to hold a series of talks in Muscat, Oman, on November 9-10. Iran and the major world powers ended their last round of nuclear talks in Vienna during October.

Last Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyyed Abbas Arakchi described the removal of all sanctions against Tehran as a precondition for a comprehensive deal with the world powers, and said Iran will not retreat even a millimeter from its nuclear rights.

In advance of the upcoming P5+1 talks, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano again expressed his frustration last week at years of Iran’s refusal to cooperate with the international community and come clean about its nuclear program, saying “we cannot provide assurance that all material in Iran is in peaceful purposes.”

[Photo: WEF / flickr]