Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Persian Gulf under Revolutionary Guards' Guardianship

Military Formation More Pronounced ‎


Rasa Ghazinejad:

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." ‎

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