Iran Rejects Trump Threats On Naval Attack

TEHRAN (AP) – Iran on Thursday rejected threats made by US President Donald Trump to attack Iranian ships in the event of further naval incidents, saying it is ready to react to any hostile action.

In addition to this, the Iranian government called the Swiss ambassador, who watches over American interests there, to protest the threats launched by Trump through Twitter.


Although the coronavirus crisis has temporarily reduced tensions between the two countries, in recent days Tehran has been putting up more resistance to the “maximum pressure” policy applied by the Trump administration, both diplomatically and militarily. On Wednesday, Iran launched its first military satellite into space, revealing a hitherto secret space program.

On Thursday, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Hossein Salami warned that his forces “will respond to any action decisively, effectively and immediately.”

“We have instructed our naval units that if any warships or military units of the US terrorist Navy threaten our combat vessels, they must respond to those warships or naval units,” Salami stated.

Last week, the United States Navy reported that 11 Revolutionary Guard artillery boats harassed US ships in the Persian Gulf. The Navy assured that it carried out maneuvers to chase away the Iranian ships, which eventually distanced themselves. Iran, meanwhile, blamed the incident on the United States, although it offered no evidence.

For years, both countries have staged hostile encounters in the Persian Gulf and in the Strait of Hormuz, where 20% of all the world’s oil passes. The United States has been patrolling these waters for decades to protect maritime trade routes, which Iran rejects as a threat to its national security and compares it to Iranian ships patrolling the Gulf of Mexico.

On Wednesday, Trump threatened Iran on Twitter, claiming that he had ordered the Navy to “shoot down and destroy any Iranian speedboat that harasses our vessels.”

“We don’t want their gunships to be circling our ships, circling our ships for fun,” Trump told reporters Wednesday afternoon at the White House.

“We are not going to tolerate it … we will get them out of the water with gunshots,” he said.

The International Crisis Group, alarmed by the tensions, urged both countries to create an emergency telephone line to avoid an unwanted confrontation.


Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Associated Press correspondents Josef Federman in Jerusalem, Angela Charlton in Paris and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this note.