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Persian Gulf fully secure; foreign powers not welcome in strategic region: IRGC Navy commander

This photo shows the Israeli-managed Mercer Street oil tanker after an alleged attack against it. (Via Twitter)

The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Navy says the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz are fully secure, stressing foreign powers are not welcome in the strategic region.

"There is full security in all water borders of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and we always stand ready to ensure the security of the Islamic Republic's interests in international waters,” Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) reported on Friday.

He added that Iran fully monitors the movements of every vessel that enters or exits the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

He emphasized that the enemy knows that its movements are being under watch and it will receive a serious warning if it carries out the slightest act of violation.

The IRGC Navy commander said Muslim countries of the Persian Gulf are responsible to maintain the region's security and do not need foreign powers in this regard, adding, “The Persian Gulf is our home and not a place for foreigners.”

The IRGC is very serious in safeguarding the Islamic Republic’s interests and its borders, Tangsiri said, emphasizing, “We do not take any chances with anyone in this regard. We stand firm and we will stand until our last breath."

Tensions simmer in the region in the wake of a suspected drone attack last week on the Israeli-managed tanker -- Mercer Street -- off the Omani coast, where two crew members were killed. With no evidence, the United States, Israel and Britain blamed Iran for the incident. Tehran categorically rejects the blame.

Meanwhile, maritime sources reported on Tuesday that the Panama-flagged asphalt/bitumen tanker Asphalt Princess had been seized off the coast of the United Arab Emirates at the opening of the Strait of Hormuz — one of the world’s busiest waterways, accusing Iran of being behind the incident.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations said a day later that the potential hijack of the Panama-flagged vessel had ended, without giving any further details. 

In a letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, the deputy permanent representative of Iran to the UN, Zahra Ershadi, warned about recent suspicious attempts to create fabricated maritime “incidents” in the Persian Gulf and the broader region, after the US and its allies accused Iran of the attack on the Israeli-managed ship, urging a swift end to such “irresponsible acts” that harm the region’s peace.

Citing an informed source, Nour News, a media outlet close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said the country would give a strong and crushing response to any measure taken against its national interests and security, blaming Britain and the US for the consequences of such moves against Tehran.

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