The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy says his forces will resolutely “protect and safeguard” the Persian Gulf and its resources, urging the United States and the Israeli regime to immediately leave the strategic waterway.
Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri made the remarks in an interview on the occasion of the National Persian Gulf Day on Saturday.
“The Persian Gulf is our home. We will resolutely protect and safeguard the Persian Gulf and its resources. We will not allow any act of aggression against its resources,” he said.
Tangsiri also noted that “the illegitimate presence of the aggressive United States and the child-killing Israeli regime in this region has endangered the stability and security of the Persian Gulf,” calling on Washington and Tel Aviv to leave the area as soon as possible “so that this sensitive region becomes safer.”
The senior Iranian commander further said the Persian Gulf features some of the most vital maritime borders of Iran and its geographic location has influenced the country's geopolitics and international relations throughout history.
Tangsiri also warned that the presence of foreign naval vessels in the Persian Gulf poses a serious threat to its ecosystem and marine life.
“In the event of any accidents involving these vessels, which are primarily nuclear-fueled, the Persian Gulf's ecosystem could be impacted for decades,” he said.
The Persian Gulf — which spans some 251,000 square kilometers — is bounded by the Arvand River in the north, which forms the frontier between Iran and Iraq, and the Strait of Hormuz in the south, which links the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean.
The inland sea is an international trade route connecting the Middle East to Africa, India, and China.
It has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as “Persian” since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern-day Iran.
Every year, Iranians observe the Persian Gulf Day on the 10th of Ordibehesht, the second month on the Persian calendar, which usually falls at the end of April.
The date coincides with the anniversary of a successful military campaign by Shah Abbas I of Persia in 1622, which drove the Portuguese navy out of the Strait of Hormuz.
While historical documents show that the waterway has always been referred to as the “Persian Gulf,” certain Arab states and their allies have frequently used the fictitious name “the Arabian Gulf” to point to the body of water.