The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Thursday said Iran would destroy American warships if they threaten Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf.
The warning came one day after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered conditional military strikes against Iranian vessels following a recent tense encounter between the two countries in the Gulf.
“I have ordered our naval forces to destroy any American terrorist force in the Persian Gulf that threatens the security of Iran’s military or non-military ships,” Major General Hossein Salami said on Iranian state television. “Security of the Persian Gulf is part of Iran’s strategic priorities.”
Trump tweeted Wednesday he had “instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.” But he said later he was not amending the U.S. military’s rules of engagement.
Days before Trump’s conditional order, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said its forces were conducting drills in the Gulf when they faced “unprofessional and provocative actions” from U.S. warships last week.