IRGC Now Responsible for Security of Abu Musa, Greater/Lesser Tunbs

September 20, 1999 - 0:0
TEHRAN -- Iran's elite force, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), has been assigned duties for the security of three strategic islands in the Persian Gulf, an informed source said yesterday. On condition of anonymity, the source told the TEHRAN TIMES that the "IRGC is now responsible for the security of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands in the Persian Gulf". The IRGC has its ground, naval and air forces and they were given the same responsibilities some two years ago when there was a possibility of the U.S. threat of attack on the islands.

"Well, you know that the U.S. and Britain are the countries which provoke the United Arab Emirates to raise the issue of the three Iranian islands," the source said. Is there any possibility for a U.S. attack? "I can't say exactly," he said and pointed out that the decision of the government to assign island security is a precautionary measure as these islands are politically, economically, and strategically vital to Iran. "These islands are the lifeline of the Islamic Republic. We cannot simply ignore the fact and the ongoing plot of the United States," he said.

He said the UAE claim on the islands is baseless. "History is the best witness that Iran recognized the UAE when it became independent in 1971," he said, recalling that both issued a joint statement on that occasion. "Moreover, the UAE President Sheikh Zaid visited Iran two times during the Shah's reign; at that time joint statements were also issued," he said and recalled that not a single word about the island was mentioned by Sheikh Zaid or any of the other UAE officials who now spare no opportunity for distorting the facts about the islands, which are an eternal part of Iran. Meanwhile, Navy Commander Admiral Abbas Mohtaj Sunday said in Noushahr that the navy, with its full strength, is defending the Iranian islands and the country's coasts along the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. He made the remark while addressing a ceremony to introduce the new Chancellor of Imam Khomeini Marine University in this northern city.

Admiral Mohtaj further voiced the Iranian navy's readiness to confront those attempting to launch aggressions on the country's water borders. The unity between the Armed Forces and the people particularly during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war led to successful experiences which can be used by next generations, he added.