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"We will send these ships to the bottom of the sea along with their crew and planes,” says senior Iranian military leader.
One of Iran’s most senior military figures warned the United States that Iran has the capacity to sink its ships in the event of an attack. The comments follow the Pentagon’s sending in three guided-missile destroyer ships close to Iran’s coast.
On Saturday, General Morteza Qorbani, senior advisor to Iran’s military command came out with fighting words saying that if the U.S. “commits the slightest stupidity, we will send these ships to the bottom of the sea along with their crew and planes.” He added Iran could achieve this “using two missiles or two new secret weapons.” This assertion was in response to the May 10 arrival of the three U.S. destroyers in the Persian Gulf.
Qorabani's comments heighten concerns over a U.S.-Iran conflict that could that could be devastating for the region being that both sides are well-equipped.
U.S. foreign policy analyst, Harry J. Kazianis, Senior Director of Korean Studies at the conservative Washington think tank, The Center for the National Interest, warned about Iran’s missile capabilities saying: “On Iran’s military over the years, one can easily come to the conclusion that Iran’s forces, when confronted close to its shores, would not be easily subdued. What is referred to commonly as the 'tyranny of distance,' combined with Tehran’s growing A2/AD [missile] capabilities, creates an interesting challenge for U.S. warfighters if the unthinkable ever came to pass," said the expert.
Tensions have increased between the U.S. and Iran following Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in which Iran agreed to restrict military nuclear development in exchange for easing of US sanctions. Trump, along with other war-hawks within his administration, such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, have instead convinced the president to pull out of the deal and tighten economic sanctions in an attempt to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program altogether. Moreover the U.S. is hoping Iran will cease to oppose U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East on issues such as Palestine and Yemen, in which Iran stands firmly against Israeli and Saudi aggressions.
However, some in Tehran hope that cooler heads will prevail as Iranian Brigadier General Hassan Seifi said Saturday, “We believe rational Americans and their experienced commanders will not let their radical elements lead them into a situation from which it would be very difficult to get out, and that is why they will not enter a war.”