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Any US provocation, illegal move against Iran will be dealt with firmly: Armed Forces

A vessel belonging to Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is seen next to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton in the Persian Gulf on April 15, 2020. (Via Reuters)

The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces says the presence of the United States and its allies in the West Asia region has been the source of insecurity for regional countries, warning that any provocative move by US forces will be met with Iranian Armed Forces’ categorical response.

In a statement issued on Monday, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said, “High-risk behaviors, which make shipping [in regional waters] insecure, have started since the adventurist and terrorist country of America and some of its allies came to this sensitive region.”

"As it has been repeatedly announced, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never initiated and will never start any tension and conflict in the region, but will always defend its territorial integrity with preparedness, strength and power," Iran's high military body said, adding, "Any act of adventurism, harassment and provocation will be met with the Iranian Armed Forces' decisive response and hostile forces, including the US, will be responsible for consequences."

The Islamic Republic strongly believes that regional countries have necessary capabilities to maintain security in the Persian Gulf, the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, and guarantee security of energy flow through the region, the statement said.

"False extra-regional coalitions led by the US will not only fail to help ensure stability and security in this region, but will also disrupt regional order and security," the statement pointed out.

It said the US’ precarious presence and its establishment of military bases in the region have been the root causes of insecurity, illegal moves and acts of mischief, adding that the Islamic Republic has repeatedly warned international bodies about Washington's destabilizing moves, which run counter to international laws and regulations.

The Armed Forces advises the US and its allies to abide by Iran's regulations as well as international rules and to avoid any acts of adventurism, measures in violation of principles of safe navigation, and providing false accounts of their provocative behaviors while passing through Iran's territorial waters, it said.

The statement noted that the military forces of the US and its allies need to withdraw from the region and allow regional countries to establish security in cooperation with each other as the sole secure way to enforce peace and stability in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

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Decades-old tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated since 2018, when US President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US president further added fuel to the fire when he recently threatened that US Navy ships would shoot "out of the water" Iranian gunboats that get too close in the Persian Gulf.

Trump’s remarks came after a US Navy statement alleged that 11 boats of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had closed in on six US naval vessels in the Persian Gulf “in dangerous and harassing approaches.” The IRGC strongly dismisses the statement, calling the account a “Hollywood tale.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the Swiss ambassador, whose country represents the United Stats’ interests, to convey the Islamic Republic’s strong condemnation of the provocative and aggressive acts by the US Navy’s terrorist forces in the Persian Gulf close to the Iranian coastline. 

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, “The summoning took place because of the acts of harassment and provocation by American forces in the Persian Gulf."

In a phone conversation with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Saturday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran won't initiate any conflict in the region despite the US provocative moves. 

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is closely watching and following the activity and movements of Americans, but will never be the initiator of any tension and conflict in the region," Rouhani added.

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