The commander of the naval forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps declared that ‘any Israeli presence in the Persian Gulf will trigger a battle.” In an exclusive interview with the Lebanese al-Mayadeen news network, IRGC Navy Commander Alireza Tenksiri stressed that despite joint efforts by the United States and Britain to secure their ships in the Strait of Hormuz, the Islamic Republic has the ability to detain any vessel. After insisting the British-flagged oil tanker seized by the IRGC in the Strait of Hormuz had violated international law, Tenksiri said Tehran would be willing to release the vessel in exchange for reciprocal action by London regarding the Iranian tanker detained in Gibraltar earlier last month, suspected of transporting oil to Syria breach of European Union sanctions. The IRGC Naval commander further reiterated Tehran’s message to “the countries of the region and beyond,” saying, “as long as [Iran] exports [its] oil from the region, [the Islamic Republic will] guarantee [maritime] security.”
In related news, Iranian state television covered a ribbon-cutting ceremony for what Iran’s military Air Defense commander described as ‘an upgraded, highly sophisticated missile defense system.’ Following the event, Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard claimed that the “Falaq radar” has advanced capacities to detect and intercept cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles with stealth capabilities. Western Intelligence officials told TV7 that they are studying the capabilities of the newly-unveiled system. One source added that the Islamic Republic is desperately using all the tools at its disposal to try and alleviate domestic concerns, as the Ayatollah Regime knows it cannot deter the clear military qualitative edge maintained by the West.