Iran Guards Vow to Target US Warships If Security Threatened

Commander says Iran will defend its maritime interests

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard are firing back at President Trump’s Wednesday threat to sink Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf, saying they are prepared to target US warships if they consider them a threat to Iranian security.

Revolutionary Guards chief Hossein Salami says that Iran is committed to defending its maritime borders and maritime interests and would respond to any “wrong move” by the US. This is noteworthy because US operations in the Persian Gulf have tended to be near Iran’s maritime borders.

Just like the Pentagon is presenting Trump’s Tweet as a “warning” to Iran, however, it’s not clear that Salami’s comments are meant as a statement of policy or just another warning/threat being made in the course of ever-worsening tensions between the two nations.

If nothing else, these statements provide both nations with a chance to accuse the other of provocation, and to try to argue that if a war does happen, it was the other side’s fault. It doesn’t seem either side would benefit from a naval battle in the Gulf, but this reflects almost constant tension and talk of war throughout 2020.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.