Military Formation More Pronounced
While a month ago, in response to the growing military threats against Iran, an Islamic Republic official announced the possibility of "closing the Strait of Hormuz" for an "unidentified" period of time, the Islamic Republic News Agency yesterday published an exclusive interview with Seyyed Yahya Safavi, former Passdaran Revolutionary Guards' commander, in which he said that "the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards will be in charge of defending the Persian Gulf."
As announced yesterday by the former Passdaran Revolutionary Guards commander, moving forward, "according to the latest decision," the conventional army (Iran's classic marine corps) will be in charge of defending the Sea of Oman and Caspian Sea and the Revolutionary Guards will defend the Persian Gulf. In his interview with IRNA, Rahim Safavi also expanded on the scope of the Revolutionary Guards' defense of the Persian Gulf, noting, "The Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards' missiles are able to cover the entire width of the Persian Gulf and no ship passing through is outside our range of fire."
Safavi added, "With their defensive capabilities including missile capabilities, air force, navy and marine missiles our armed forces are able to control the Strait of Hormuz." In addition the current commander of the Passdaran Revolutionary Guards also raised the possibility of blocking the Strait of Hormuz.
This commander went even further and by first recalling a story said, “After the Americans became aware of this decision, they announced to their ships not to get close to the Iranian ships, given the Passdarans’ responsibility of defending the Persian Gulf, because they would not hesitate in rapidly confronting the invaders." Ayatollah Khamenei's advisor, however, did not clarify when or how the American forces became aware of this decision.
In addition, as reported by IRNA, this former commander commented on the "Zionist regime's threats and the possibility of that regime's strike on Iran," noting, "The Zionist regime does not have the political, economic or social capabilities to start such an enormous war." Regarding America's threats, special advisor to the Supreme Leader noted, "In such a case, 200 thousand American forces who are stationed in the region would be placed under serious danger and certainly the Americans would not commit to a fourth front in addition to engagements they have in Afghanistan, Iraq and Georgia. The Islamic Republic's armed forced including the Revolutionary Guards, army, and eleven million Basijis are fully prepared to respond to any aggression."
The announcement of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards' pronounced presence in the Persian Gulf region was made last month by the current Guards chief. While announcing the testing of a new missile, which, according to him, were "designed to target enemy ships and vessels in the Persian Gulf area within a 300 kilometer radius," General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Guards, announced that the Strait of Hormuz may be blocked for an unspecified amount of time.
Commander Jafari had warned last June regarding a possible military attack on Iran, insisting, "The enemy will be looking for a short encounter but we would move to prolong the war to use our missile and non-missile capabilities to destroy enemy targets."