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US claims of warship harassment in Persian Gulf fictitious: Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri

Iran's chief Armed Forces spokesman has dismissed as untrue US claims that an American warship patrolling the Persian Gulf was harassed by Iranian boats, saying the Islamic Republic’s naval forces act according to international law.

“Vessels belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran are fully aware of international laws and regulations and have always acted based on stipulated standards, so the [US] claims are not only fictitious, but stem from their fear of the might of the Islamic Republic of Iran's forces,” Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, said on Sunday.

The file photo shows American warship USS Firebolt.

Pentagon spokesman, Captain Jeff Davis, said on Tuesday that seven fast-attack boats of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) approached the USS Firebolt on September 4 with their machine guns uncovered, though not trained on the Americans.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Jazayeri noted that in safeguarding Iran's sea borders and economic interests, the Iranian naval units will never be deterred by the media propaganda of extra-regional enemies and their stooges in the region.

The senior commander added that when Iranian vessels pass by the American ships at a distance of several kilometers, they claim that the Iranian boats have approached to within a kilometer of them.

“In the pursuit of its interests and in accordance with established marine principles, the Islamic Republic of Iran will never be swayed by any power,” Jazayeri said.

Noting that Washington still continues with its hegemonic approaches, he emphasized that as has been proved over the past 37 years since the Islamic Revolution, Iran would never tolerate such policies and would confront any move aimed at undermining its territorial integrity.

In January, Iran's Navy arrested the crews of two US patrol boats that had trespassed on Iranian territorial waters. Iran released them after establishing that they had done so by mistake.

Iran has invariably asserted that it only uses its naval might for defensive purposes and to send across the Islamic Republic’s message of peace and security to other nations.

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