“Illegitimate presence”: Iran says Persian Gulf confrontation was sparked by US Navy encroaching on planned drills

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A US-Iran confrontation in the Persian Gulf earlier this month kicked off due to the US Navy’s unauthorised presence during Iran’s planned military drills, a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) official has said.

IRGC naval commander Alireza Tangsiri told local media that the US forces were an “illegitimate presence” at the planned military maneuvers, “so they were ordered to leave.”

Responding to US accusations that the IRGC fleet provoked the confrontation by acting in a “harassing” manner towards US ships, Tangsiri said that “the Persian Gulf region is our home and we are not looking for a fire in our house.”

The US has said it maintains a naval presence in the region to carry out patrols of crucial shipping routes, and claimed that the recent encounter was sparked by Iran, whose speedboats buzzed the US Navy ships in a “dangerous and provocative” manner. The accusation has been dismissed by Iran as an indication that “the Americans are interested in Hollywood scenarios.”

 

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