Iran Guards threaten US over Gulf presence after receiving new combat vessels

Iran's defense ministry handed over to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) 110 high-speed vessels. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 May 2020

Iran Guards threaten US over Gulf presence after receiving new combat vessels

  • Guards’ navy chief warns it is expanding Iran’s naval power

TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels.
The vessels included Ashura-class speedboats, Zolfaghar coastal patrol boats and Taregh submarines, state television reported.
“We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future,” the Guards’ navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran.
Iran and the United States have appeared to be on the brink of an all-out confrontation twice in the past year.
The latest confrontation between the arch-foes came after the United States accused the Guards of harassing its ships in the Gulf in mid-April.
“Advancing while remaining defensive is the nature of our work,” said Guards commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami.
“But this does not equal passivity against the enemy,” he added, noting that Iran “will not bow down to any foe.”
According to Salami, the Guards’ navy had been instructed to expand Iran’s naval power until it can adequately defend “territorial independence and integrity, protect naval interests and pursue and destroy the enemy.”
Decades-old acrimony between the two worsened in 2018 when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
Tensions escalated further in January when a US air strike killed Qasem Soleimani, the top Iranian general who headed the Guards’ foreign arm, the Quds Force.


Lebanon army surveys 85,000 building units post-Beirut blast

Updated 13 min 36 sec ago

Lebanon army surveys 85,000 building units post-Beirut blast

  • The August 4 explosion at Beirut port killed more than 190 people
  • The army surveyed 60,818 housing units, 19,115 businesses, 1,137 heritage units, 962 restaurants, 82 teaching institutions and 12 hospitals, among other untis

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s army said Saturday it has carried out a survey of more than 85,000 dwellings, businesses and other building units damaged by the massive Beirut port blast last month.
The August 4 explosion of hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut port killed more than 190 people, wounded thousands and ravaged large parts of the capital.
“A total of 85,744 affected units have been surveyed,” the army said.
It had surveyed 60,818 housing units, 19,115 businesses, 1,137 heritage units, 962 restaurants, 82 teaching institutions and 12 hospitals, among other untis.
It recorded almost 550,000 square meters (half a square kilometer) of glass ravaged, and well as 140,000 square meters of glass facades broken.
More than 108,000 doors had been damaged, the survey showed.
The army said it was still looking for nine people — three Lebanese, five Syrians and an Egyptian — still missing after the blast.
The survey “is considered to be sufficient, and there is therefore no need for further surveys by donor countries,” it said in a statement.
The army said the donors, non-governmental organizations or volunteers could request access to the results.
On August 9, international donors pledged over 250 million euros (around $300 million) in emergency aid, in a video conference jointly organized by France and the United Nations.
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed in early September during a second visit to Lebanon since the blast to host a second conference in Paris in the second half of October.