The commander of Iran's navy ratcheted up the Islamic Republic's recent rhetoric against the United States, threatening the Americans with major losses at sea should they chose to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.
“The Americans can fully expect that their warships [and] aircraft carrier will be sunk with all 5,000 crew aboard, in combat against Iran, and they could find its hulk in the depths of the sea,” Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi was quoted as saying by semi-official Iranian Fars News on Sunday.
Fadavi said that since the day that the US warships entered the Persian Gulf, the IRGC Navy has evolved all its capabilities, training, structures, organizations and weapons to counter Washington’s threats, and added that the IRGC vessels in the region are monitoring every move made by the Americans.
In a display of naval power and confidence, an Iranian Navy fleet of warships is reportedly making its way across the Atlantic Ocean, reported Fars on Sunday. At the time, they reported that the ships would sail for at least three months.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet was quoted as saying.
Then, Iran’s Navy Commander R.-Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said the move would counter US presence in its waters in the Persian Gulf.
Hours earlier, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday the United States would overthrow the Iranian government if it could, adding Washington had a “controlling and meddlesome” attitude towards the Islamic Republic, Iranian media reported.
Fadavi said though Americans might be able to hide themselves in various bases in certain Muslim countries in the region if they are faced with an Iranian military response, but “they cannot hide themselves at sea since the entire Middle-East, western Europe, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz are monitored by us and there is no place for [them] to hide”.
Iran's naval power was acknowledged in a Washington Institute for the Near East Policy report in 2008 on "reviewing the historical evolution of Iran’s approach to asymmetric warfare and assessing its naval forces."
The report stated, "This study concludes that despite Iran’s overall defensive posture in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, it could take preemptive action in response to a perceived threat of imminent attack. And in the event of a US attack, the scale of Iran’s response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets."