Republicans saw the incident as a demonstration of “how little regard Iran has for America” under Obama. Trump, who was a presidential candidate at the time, stated: “Those young people were on their hands and knees in a begging position with their hands up and thugs behind them with guns, and then we talk like it’s OK. It’s not OK. It’s lack of respect.” But Obama didn’t express disapproval. Rather, he boasted that the soldiers were only released because of his administration’s “power of diplomacy and the promise of its new engagement with Iran.”
Iran is now celebrating the fifth anniversary of the incident, threatening that it is fully prepared to be “absolutely decisive and tough” in defending Iran, however “defending” might be interpreted by the Islamic regime.
Guido Steinberg of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs weighed in on Iran’s behavior in the Gulf, including its previous attacks on oil tankers. He stated that Iran “wants to show the US it is able to launch an attack on the oil trade in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.” That’s one part of it. Iran is threatened by America’s presence. Iranian Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri ranted:
The U.S. must leave the Persian Gulf region and has no option but to withdraw from the region….Americans cannot extend their stay for a long time, because the Persian Gulf belongs to Iran and the southern countries of the Persian Gulf, and is a home to us and Muslim countries on the southern rim of the Persian Gulf.
Iran has been overtly vying for regional hegemony and global dominance, and even more aggressively now as it anticipates a weak Biden presidency. It is seething with rage and consumed with a desire for revenge over the killing of Qasem Soleimani a year ago. Iran has already stated that America will bow to its regime under Biden, lift sanctions, and reinstate the nuclear deal. Iran is already dictating to the Biden administration.
“Iran Celebrates Anniversary of Capturing US Sailors with Warning,” by Tim O’Connor, Newsweek, January 11, 2021:
The head of the maritime branch of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard delivered a warning to would-be aggressors on the fifth anniversary of his country’s capture of U.S. sailors traversing the Persian Gulf, which serves today as a flashpoint for worsening tensions between Washington and Tehran.
Five years ago, the Revolutionary Guard Navy intercepted two U.S. Navy riverine boats and briefly detained the 10 sailors onboard for straying into Iranian waters off Farsi Island.
Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri recounted the international incident on Monday, maintaining that his forces “are fully prepared” to defend Iran and its borders at sea.
“If a country intends to invade or threaten our Islamic homeland, as on January 13, 2016, our answer will be absolutely decisive and tough,” Tangsiri said during a ceremony at the country’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
The U.S. and Iran have a long history of naval tensions in the Persian Gulf, and the comments came just a day after the Iranian commander appeared in a televised interview in which he recalled other displays of Iranian might in the region, including the June 2019 shootdown of a spy drone, a move Tangsiri referred to as “a turning point” in the country’s military history.
He demanded the Pentagon pull its forces from the region, blamed the U.S. military for causing insecurity in the region, and called for cooperation among Middle Eastern nations there.
“The U.S. must leave the Persian Gulf region and has no option but to withdraw from the region,” Tangsiri said. “Americans cannot extend their stay for a long time, because the Persian Gulf belongs to Iran and the southern countries of the Persian Gulf, and is a home to us and Muslim countries on the southern rim of the Persian Gulf.”
Tangsiri also recently participated in the unveiling of an underground missile base said to be located on the shores of the Persian Gulf. He was joined by Revolutionary Guard commander Major General Hossein Salami at the undisclosed station, where the two toured facilities described as “several kilometers long.”…