Amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf, marked by media stories of an Israeli submarine arriving in the area, and US warships deployed for naval drills, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has voiced hopes for de-escalation forward of the upcoming change of administration in the White House, whereas intimating that Tehran was prepared for “any scenario”.
Tehran has but once more issued a message to deplore elevated navy actions by Washington amid heightened tensions in the area. The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council underscored in a Monday tweet that the at the moment escalated “mobility” of the American navy was not more than a “defensive show” generated by “fear of the consequences” for its previous transgressions in the realm.
Shamkhani’s statements got here as Washington and Tehran have been on heightened alert over their respective actions forward of the anniversary of a succession of occasions in late 2019 and early 2020 which have fuelled the already tense relations between the 2 international locations.
In a latest present of pressure in the Persian Gulf, Israeli media reported on 21 December that an Israeli Navy submarine had crossed Egypt’s Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, whereas on the identical day the US Navy shared photographs of the Ohio-class submarine USS Georgia and accompanying cruisers crossing the Strait of Hormuz.
A US Navy official confirmed to Fox News that the most recent actions in the Persian Gulf had been deliberate forward of the approaching anniversary of the killing of high Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the pinnacle of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, in Iraq on 3 January 2020 by an American drone.
Earlier, in September, the US Navy introduced that one of its plane carriers had sailed via the Strait of Hormuz and entered the waters of the Persian Gulf.
The US fifth Fleet stated the strike group was led by the USS Nimitz and included two guided-missile cruisers, the USS Princeton and USS Philippine Sea, and a guided-missile destroyer – USS Sterett.
The mission, in keeping with the assertion, was geared toward “operating and training” with US companions.
Responding to those strikes by Washington, Iran’s safety chief took to Twitter on 28 December to say that this could solely serve to “intensify insecurity” and consequence in “harmful misunderstandings”.
US-Iran tensions have surged since Washington blamed Tehran for a rocket assault on the US Embassy compound in Baghdad on 20 December.
One native civilian died, whereas no embassy personnel have been killed or injured in the assault, in keeping with NPR, citing US diplomatic sources.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly condemned the assault by “Iranian-backed militias” on the worldwide zone in Baghdad.
President Donald Trump on 23 December even tweeted some “friendly health advice to Iran”, warning that in the occasion of any American deaths, he would maintain Tehran accountable, additionally posting an image of three unexploded rockets allegedly discovered close to the assault web site.
Iran later denied the US allegations that it performed any position in the latest assaults focusing on Washington’s embassy in Baghdad. Instead, it has accused the American administration of fanning the flames of additional instability in the unstable area.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh at a media briefing on 28 December commented on America’s “risky actions”.
“We do not seek tensions, but responsibility for any consequences of risky actions that lead to an escalation of tensions is on the US. You certainly know that Iran will not joke with anyone when it comes to our national interests and security”, he stated, whereas including that Tehran was “ready for any scenario”.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas reported that Tehran was allegedly boosting its air defence capabilities close to nuclear services as a precaution in opposition to potential American navy strikes earlier than the top of Donald Trump’s time period, as bellicose mutual rhetoric has been heard for the reason that late November assassination of Iran’s high nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who helped lead the nation’s nuclear programme.
Iran’s Supreme National Security Agency had claimed that Israeli spy company Mossad and the Iranian “People’s Mujahedin Organisation” have been concerned in the killing.