TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iranian Air Defense Force commander Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahifard has urged Tehran's adversaries to keep their distance from the country's frontiers.
"We are warning the enemy: there is no safe zone for extraterritorial military aircraft in Iranian skies... Even approaching Iran's borders would be met with a strong response. Thus, I advise you to move as much away (from Iran's borders) as you can," the commander said on Thursday.
Saying that any acts of aggression against Iran would "bring regret” to the enemy, Sabahifard said that the U.S. military's decision to keep a safe distance of 200 nautical miles from the Strait of Hormuz waterway was the result of Iran's effective deterrent capabilities.
Commenting on U.S. policy toward his country, Sabahifard urged his fellow countrymen and women not to give in to pressures.
"The enemy has imposed political, economic and cultural pressures on Iran, which have caused some troubles for the Iranian nation, but we should know that the costs of surrender are much higher than resistance," Sabahifard said.
According to the commander, the U.S. expansion of its military power in West Asia and the Persian Gulf while calling for negotiations demonstrates the "unreliability" and "instability" of U.S. diplomacy.
Last month, soon after scrapping sanctions waivers for multiple major importers of Iranian crude oil, the U.S. deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, a complement of B-52 strategic bombers, Patriot missile defense batteries, fighters, an amphibious landing ship and hundreds of fresh troops to the Middle East.
On May 12, after the U.S. deployment, four commercial tankers docked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates were struck in an apparent sabotage attack which Abu Dhabi investigators said was carried out by trained divers.