The deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Wednesday Iranian forces will close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to the United States and its allies if they “threaten” Tehran.
“Americans should learn from recent historical truths,” Gen. Hossein Salami said likely referring to the January capture of 10 U.S. sailors who entered Iranian waters.
The sailors were released less than a day later, though state TV aired footage of the sailors on their knees with their hands on their heads.
“If the Americans and their regional allies want to pass through the Strait of Hormuz and threaten us, we will not allow any entry,” Salami said in comments carried on state television.
But he did not elaborate on what he and other leaders would consider a threat.
He added: “Americans cannot make safe any part of the world.”
His comments follow a long history of both rhetoric and confrontation between the Islamic Republic and Washington over the narrow strait, through which nearly a third of all oil traded by sea passes.
His remarks also follow those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who on Monday criticized U.S. activities in the Persian Gulf.