DM: Foreign encroachments in southern waters ‘severely punishable
Defense Minister Dehghan has told a press conference in Isfahan Russian air fighters provide support for Syrian army on the ground against ISIL.
Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan who is in Isfahan representing the cabinet on the occasion of National Week of Government, briefly talked to a press conference. The most immediate issue was Iranian patrol boats which had gone too near to an American USS Nitze (DDG-94), a guided-missile destroyer on Thursday morning in the Strait of Hormuz; “it is a natural and routine programs of the border patrol to do surveillance in the southern waters and to collect intelligence on foreign ships’ operations,” Mr. Dehghan told the press in response to a question of the event. “Be the US ships or otherwise, any destroyer of any sort would be severely punished if they are found to encroach our waters in Persian Gulf.”
Mr. Dehghan did not comment further on the incident, just briefly announcing Iran’s free hand in how to handle foreign ships in the southern waters. No other official account of the event had been released either by IRGC or Patrol Police in the region.
A second important issue of question by the press was Russian fighters taking of Nojeh Airbase near Hamedan, where he told the press that Russian fighters provided support and coverage to the Syrian government forces fighting on the ground against ISIL; “Russian-Iranian cooperation advance shared positions in Syria which is fighting terrorism; Russia fighters just accelerate the pace of military operation to destroy terrorist groups on the ground, and they would be provided airbase in the times when we feel that such a support Syrian forces required,” he detailed.
However, an account went online in a US military website. The US Naval Institute website reported that the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG-94) was followed and harassed by four Iranian patrol boats on Tuesday in the Persian Gulf, defense officials confirmed to USNI News. “The destroyer was in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz when four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy high-speed patrol boats came at the ship without responding to hails or warning flares fired from Nitze,” said the report.