Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Senior Iranian commander has threatened the US with blocking the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which one fifth of the world oil supply passes.
Talking with evening news bulletin of Iran's State TV on May 3, IRGC Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami praised the Islamic Republic Navy and threatened to close the strait using the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982.
"We warn the US and its regional allies if they use the Strait of Hormuz and threaten us, we will block that based on the UNCLOS and will not permit any vessel which threats to pass the strait," Salami said.
He did not elaborate about the claimed threats.
The convention makes clear that innocent passage of vessels through a possible territorial sea should not involve 'any threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of the coastal State'.
The US has not signed this treaty. Iran has, but hasn't ratified it.
Salami further said that the US should learn from its recent mistakes, or face the consequences, referring to the recent arrest of 10 US sailors after drifting into Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
Salami noted that the arrests prove that "Iran has developed a powerful Navy in the IRGC and the Armed Forces, capable of defending the country's interests and independence."
He also added that Iran will not give in to "restrictions from any power in the world" in conducting military drills, emphasizing that it is Iran's "legal right" to hold military exercises according to its strategic plans.
Salami's remarks follow recent remarks of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who warned the United States against keeping a military presence in the Persian Gulf and vowed that the Islamic Republic will continue to carry out a range of war drills in the area despite warnings.
Apparently responding to the recently introduced US House of Representatives resolution, which criticizes Iran's military activities in the Persian Gulf, Khamenei called the US's stance "foolish and worthless."