Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:7PM
File photo shows Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' speedboats cruising during military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.
File photo shows Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' speedboats cruising during military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.

The responsibility for seizing vessels trespassing on Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf has been officially given to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)'s Navy, a senior commander says.

Based on an agreement with the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran signed on Tuesday, the IRGC Navy will seize all intruding vessels in the Persian Gulf and hand them over to the organization, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the commander of the IRGC Navy, said on Tuesday.

He added that according to the agreement, the two sides would set up and implement a new procedure for cooperation with regard to various maritime issues, including environmental issues as well as search and rescue operations.

Fadavi said the IRGC Navy has reinforced its military might in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, adding that no country except Iran has the power to seize vessels belonging to the US and other countries.

In January 2016, Iran's naval forces arrested the crews of two US patrol boats that had trespassed on Iranian territorial waters. Iran released them after establishing that they had done so by mistake.

Back in October, Fadavi said the United States was not authorized to interfere in the affairs of West Asia and the Persian Gulf, stressing that Washington is the root cause of mischief in the region.

Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the commander of the IRGC Navy

“They [the US] are conducting their acts of mischief in the Persian Gulf and the West Asia regions … with two objectives. Their first objective is to meet their own interests and the second one is to show their hostility towards [Iran’s] Islamic Revolution,” the commander of the IRGC Navy said.

Fadavi also stated in September 2016 that the IRGC Navy was constantly and pervasively present in all Iranian coastal territories from the northernmost areas of the Persian Gulf to its southernmost regions in the Strait of Hormuz.

“There is no reason for the presence of the US in the Persian Gulf and we have always regarded and will regard it as a factor behind insecurity and evil acts,” he said, adding that the US must leave the Persian Gulf.

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Iran has invariably asserted that it only uses its naval might for defensive purposes and to send across the Islamic Republic’s message of peace and security to other nations.