A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the Iranian Navy can sink the giant US aircraft carriers if they pose a threat to Iran’s maritime interests, Press TV reports.
Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the IRGC Navy, said Wednesday that Iranian vessels will have no difficulty targeting state-of-the-art aircraft carriers operated by the US Marine Corps if any battle erupts in the future.
Fadavi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV after his forces in the IRGC Navy started a major drill in the Persian Gulf waters south of Iran earlier in the day.
The drill, code-named the Great Prophet 9, saw nearly 400 rounds of 107-millimeter missiles strike a huge model of a US aircraft carrier, showing the capability of the IRGC Navy in countering potential threats posed by the enemies.
During the interview, Fadavi elaborated on the message of IRGC’s drill, saying such maneuvers are assuring for Iran’s friends and intimidating for enemies.
“…Our enemies should rest assured that they will never ever be able to win any possible battle against Iranians … (and) our friends … can use the capabilities of Iran and of the IRGC as a role model,” Fadavi said.
The Iranian admiral further highlighted the significance of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf region and described it as “the most strategic and sensitive part in the world,” over which Iran has full control.
The energy security of the world depends on the Strait of Hormuz, he said, adding that Iran is closely monitoring the developments in the area and other countries should rest assured that the Islamic Republic can guarantee the security of the strategic waterway.
He further criticized the United States for fueling insecurity and instability in the Persian Gulf region by sending its warships and weaponry to the area over the past few years.
“Americans have been present in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz under the pretext of ensuring energy security, but according to the figures and statistics, they have brought only great insecurity rather than security,” said the Iranian commander.
Fadavi cited data relating to the number of vessels attacked in the region since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, saying that all these attacks happened in the presence of US warships in Persian Gulf waters.
“If the Americans had not come here, the number of vessels targeted would have been eight times less than what really happened,” he said.
The first phase of the IRGC drill concluded on Wednesday with a parade of marine units and speedboats. The military maneuvers will continue Thursday with IRGC Ground Force units conducting special exercises in the east of the Strait of Hormuz.
Various types of aircraft, drones, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles will be also tested on the second day of the drill.
Iran routinely conducts drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and equipment. The Islamic Republic has repeatedly said that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.