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US navy harassment claims sheer lies: IRGC commander

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)
Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi

A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has dismissed as “sheer lies and untrue” the US claims that an American warship patrolling the Persian Gulf was harassed by Iranian boats.

“Reports by American officials about the failure of the IRGC naval forces’ vessels to keep their distance and their confrontation with … [American] vessels are sheer lies,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the commander of the IRGC Navy, said on Tuesday.

He added that all claims made by officials of the White House and Pentagon are untrue and their reports are fictitious and relevant documents and videos attesting to their falsity are also available.

“There has been a stable situation in the region for years and we exercise full control over the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz,” Fadavi said.

He emphasized that the IRGC Navy has been constantly and pervasively present in all Iran’s coastal territories from the northernmost areas of the Persian Gulf to its southernmost regions in the Strait of Hormuz.

“There is no reason for the presence of the US in the Persian Gulf and we have always regarded and will regard it as a factor behind insecurity and evil acts,” Fadavi said, adding that the US must leave the Persian Gulf.

Fadavi’s remarks came after Pentagon spokesman, Captain Jeff Davis, said on September 6 that seven fast-attack boats of the IRGC approached the USS Firebolt on September 4 with their machine guns uncovered, though not trained on the Americans.

The file photo shows US Navy Cyclone Class Coastal Defense Ship, USS Firebolt.

Iran's chief Armed Forces spokesman on Sunday also dismissed as untrue the US harassment claims and said 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.

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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