Oil tanker in the Persian Gulf (archive)
Oil tanker in the Persian Gulf (archive)iStock

A top Iranian commander said on Sunday that the United States has no place in the Gulf and that regional countries can ensure their own security, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Alireza Tangsiri, naval commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), also warned that any country seeking to jeopardize Iran's interests in the Gulf will receive "a crushing and regretting response."

Iran has repeatedly conveyed its message of peace and friendship to its southern neighbors that the region is "capable of guaranteeing its security," said Tangsiri, according to Xinhua.

The IRGC Navy forces are constantly, actively and effectively present in the Strait of Hormuz and northern part of the Gulf and, in view of their full intelligence dominance, are monitoring all movements in the region, the Iranian commander noted.

In the last few years there have been several close encounters between Iranian and American vessels in the Persian Gulf. The Revolutionary Guard typically patrols the shallower waters of the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz.

One such incident in May of 2020 included a tense encounter between US and Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf.

The US military said at the time that 11 Revolutionary Guards naval vessels from the Guards navy came close to US Navy and coast guard ships in the Gulf, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative”.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard acknowledged that the incident had taken place, but also claimed that it was American forces who sparked the incident.

In April of 2020, a spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said that the Islamic Republic will respond “severely” if US vessels violate its territorial waters.