Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warn Saudis over Gulf war games

Straight of HormuzSaudi Arabia began live-fire drills on October 4, with manoeuvers also taking place in the sea of Oman and the narrow Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards warned regional rival Saudi Arabia to stay away from Iranian waters during its military exercises in the Gulf.

“The naval forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps believe this military exercise is a clear instance of creating tensions and undermining the stable security of the Persian Gulf,” it said in a statement published by Iranian newspapers on Thursday.

“None of the naval vessels participating in this drill are permitted to trespass into Iranian waters and under no circumstances should they approach Iranian territorial waters,” it added.

“Any such trespassing will not be considered a harmless aberration.”

saudi-arabia-vs-iran-flag-on-mapSaudi Arabia began live-fire drills in the Gulf on Tuesday, with manoeuvers also taking place in the Sea of Oman and the narrow Strait of Hormuz that links the two — the primary route for oil exports from the region.

The Guards’ naval forces “will take proportionate and immediate action against any kind of movement, attempt or action to disrupt the peace and security of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman,” the statement added.

Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran — which lie on opposite sides of the Gulf — severed diplomatic relations earlier this year and back opposing sides in the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

In the past, Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz during periods of tension with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies.

In recent months, Washington has repeatedly accused Tehran of dangerous encounters with US naval forces in and around the strategic waterway.


Iran Opens New Navy Base in Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has established a new naval base in the Strait of Hormuz.  The base, named Imam Mohammed Baqer, is situated in the southern port city of Bandar Lengeh on the Persian Gulf coast, The Jerusalem Post reported.  The base is the fifth in the region, is located in the Hormozgan province, some 1,100 km (700 miles) south of the capital Tehran.

IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said the zone of operations would cover an area from Qeshm island and Naze’aat Islands region to the western waters of the Kish island.  “The fifth naval zone was started to provide operational coverage for the Naze’aat Islands, bring about a turning point and start a new trend in the region,” the agency quoted Fadavi as saying at the opening ceremony.

FARS news agency reported that IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said due to the defensive nature of the area “the largest number of the IRGC marines will be stationed in the fifth naval zone.”

“The IRGC’s fifth naval zone is a very sensitive and strategic zone and is a front line in defending the Islamic Iran,” Jafari said.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to any attack from outside. Iran’s largest naval bases are at the head of the Gulf, around 450 kilometers from the strait, which is just 45 kilometers wide at its narrowest point.