TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Persian Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels.
The vessels included Ashura-class speedboats, Zolfaghar coastal patrol boats and Taregh submarines.
"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 IRGC’s navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran.
"Advancing while remaining defensive is the nature of our work,” said IRGC chief commander Major General Hussein 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 IRGC’s navy has 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 U.S. 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 the U.S. assassinated General Qasem Soleimani, a highly charismatic Iranian commander who headed the IRGC’s foreign arm the Quds Force, in a terrorist airstrike in Baghdad where he was on an official visit.