The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Navy issued an official warning to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday regarding their desire to conduct naval drills near Iranian waters.
“We declare to all the vessels present in Saudi Arabia’s war games, including the Saudi navy’s vessels and others, that the IRGC Navy believes that principally, these drills are a clear instance of stirring tensions and weakening sustainable security in the Persian Gulf,” the statement said.
The comments came a week after the Saudi navy said it plans to stage drills in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz in the near future.
Stressing that passage of the military vessels participating in the war games through Iran’s territorial waters will not be allowed at all; they also warned the Saudis to avoid sailing through the international waters near the Iran.
“The IRGC Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army are fully prepared to maintain sustainable security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and will properly and rapidly confront any move, attempt and measure to disturb tranquility and security in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman,” the statement added.
The Saudi media had reported late September that the country’s navy will hold exercises in the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz soon.
Exercise “Gulf Shield 1” will also take place in the Sea of Oman, with ships, planes, marines and other personnel taking part, said Royal Saudi Navy commander Abdullah Al Sultan.
Gulf Shield 1 is part of a series of exercises the fleet has carried out in the area, Sultan said in comments cited by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The maneuvers aim to “raise combat readiness” and improve skills for defending the country’s borders, protecting sea lanes “and to deter any aggression or potential terrorist operations”, the SPA report said.