Zarif: U.S. forces have no business 7,000 miles away from home

April 24, 2020 - 18:12

TEHRAN — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says U.S. forces have no business in the Persian Gulf, which is 7,000 miles away from their homeland.

“The US military is hit by over 5000 #covid19 infections. @realdonaldtrump should attend to their needs, not engage in threats cheered on by Saddam's terrorists,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday.

“Also, US forces have no business 7,000 miles away from home, provoking our sailors off our OWN Persian Gulf shores,” he added.

It came after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had ordered the U.S. Navy to destroy Iranian boats “if they harass” U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf.

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday.

In response to the threat by Trump, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps chief Hossein Salami on Thursday said, “We declare to them that we are absolutely determined and serious in defending our national security, water borders and maritime interests, and that any move [against us] will be effectively and swiftly met with a decisive, effective response.” 

The top general added Iran has ordered its naval units “to target any flotilla or military unit of the U.S. Navy's terrorist forces if they were to put at risk the safety of our vessels or warships.”

A U.S. Navy statement published on Wednesday claimed that 11 Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) boats had closed in on up to six U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf “in dangerous and harassing approaches”.

The statement also said the incident took place in the “northern Arabian Gulf”, a historically flawed and provocative expression commonly adopted by anti-Iran groups instead of “Persian Gulf” term.

In response, Zarif mentioned a 2-year-old tweet of himself that read, “US Navy can’t seem to find its way around our waters. Perhaps because it hasn’t figured out its name: Persian Gulf, as it's been called for 2,000 yrs longer than US has existed.”

“Or maybe it doesn't know what it's doing in our backyard, 7,000 miles from home,” Zarif’s tweet added.

MH/PA

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