Iranian Revolutionary Guards board the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero, Strait of Hormuz, July 19, 2019

The commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ navy has said Iran can detain any ship that passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which carries 1/5th of the world’s oil.

Amid escalation of tensions with attacks on shipping and seizure of tankers, Rear Adm. Alireza Tangsiri told Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen, “Whenever Iranian authorities wish to detain a ship, even if it is an American or British vessel, they can do so.”

On July 19, the Revolutionary Guards seized a UK-flagged tanker, retaliating for the UK’s impoundment of an Iranian supertanker off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks earlier. Two other small tankers have been detained for smuggling oil out of the Islamic Republic.

The UK has said that it will join a US-led force to escort shipping through the Strait of Hormuz. France, Italy, and Denmark have expressed support, but Germany has declined.

Tangsiri accused the US and the United Kingdom of creating incident for their presence in the Persian Gulf. He repeated the warning against an international coalition to protect tankers, saying Iran is responsible for security in the Strait and the Gulf: “We don’t need the presence of foreigners.”

The naval commander added the Guards’ rebuff of a statement by the Israeli Government that it is planning to cooperate with the coalition.

The United States and the United Kingdom must assume responsibility for the Zionist regime’s illegal presence in the Persian Gulf waters.

Any presence of the Zionist regime in the Persian Gulf waters is illegal, as it may result in war and confrontation in the region.

Last week, Guards commander-in-chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami declared, “The enemy is well aware that any new war may expose the Zionist regime to full-scale threat and irreversible collapse.”

See Iran Daily, August 9: Revolutionary Guards — War May Mean Israel’s “Irreversible Collapse”