TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) opened a new naval base along one of the world’s busiest oil transit routes on the Persian Gulf.
The Shaheed Rahbari base near the port of Sirik, on the eastern side of the Strait of Hormuz, took six years to build and will give Iran "full control” of various vessels that use the channel, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, a report on Press TV’s website said, citing an opening ceremony attended by IRGC commander Major General Hussein Salami.
"The country’s combat operations, ship operations, reconnaissance as well as defensive and offensive operations in the Persian Gulf will further develop,” Salami said.
On Wednesday the IRGC said it had flown a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz, as it transited through the Strait of Hormuz last week, Tasnim news agency said. Its report included aerial pictures of the vessels which it said had been taken by the unmanned aircraft.
Thursday’s announcement comes a month after the United Arab Emirates, Iran’s neighbor across the Persian Gulf, normalized relations with the occupying regime of Israel.
Iranian officials have warned that the Islamic Republic would hold the Emiratis responsible for any repercussions from a possible military presence of the Zionist regime in the region.
The Shaheed Rahbari base lies in the southern province of Hormozgan, near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.
"This base has been built with the purpose of total dominance over the entry and exit of extraterritorial aircraft and naval vessels” at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, General Salami said. "This location is one of the country’s most strategic defensive points,” he added.
In June last year, Iran shot down a U.S. Global Hawk drone over the strait after it violated the Islamic Republic’s airspace.
On Wednesday, the IRGC’s naval fleet received 188 combat drones and helicopters developed by Iranian aviation experts.
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hussein Khanzadi said Thursday his force will unveil its first dock ship in November during the country’s Navy Day.
He noted that with a span of 231 meters, the vessel will be 24 meters longer than Iran’s Khark logistical vessel and can carry up to seven helicopters and a vast array of drones, missiles and electronic warfare equipment.
Khanzadi added that the Dena destroyer, a vessel of the Jamaran-class, is undergoing its final trial stages and is more advanced than the previously produced Jamaran vessel.
He said that Dena, the Saba mine-hunter and the Zereh missile boat will also be unveiled in November.
Khanzadi added that he inspected Iran’s second and third indigenous Fateh submarines under construction yesterday.
The Iranian navy commander added that two Iranian missile boats were currently taking part in the Russian "Caucasus 2020” war games in the Caspian Sea. Naval maneuvers with other states were being planned for the end of the current year.
Addressing the recent deployment of the American USS Nimitz aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, Khanzadi said that Iran monitors U.S. naval forces "the moment they set sail from port”.
The Iranian Navy conducts its operations, such as monitoring and controlling the movements of U.S. vessels with complete coordination with the IRGC.
"The American terrorists are monitored by the Iranian Army’s Navy in the Arabian Sea. Once they enter the Persian Gulf, it’s the IRGC which monitors them,” he said.
Noting that the American fleet had avoided the Persian Gulf in the past ten months, he said that the American navy had been previously positioned about 600 to 700 kilometers away from Iran’s shores.
"They thought they were safe from our range, not knowing that they were continuously being monitored by us,” he added.
Khanzadi also said the Americans’ presence is meant to give mental assurance to their minions in the region, noting that the waters under Iranian rule are highly secure, and that upon receiving any signal from a vessel, the name of its commander, the courses he has undertaken and his characteristics are displayed as they are all stored in our databases.
Also speaking on Thursday, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said that the force will unveil an oceangoing vessel in the near future spanning 65 meters and capable of carrying helicopters.
He added the IRGC Navy will acquire drone and helicopter-carrying vessels this year.
A military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warned the U.S. that any hostile action against the Iranian nation will be met with a "decisive response,” advising President Donald Trump not to "play with the lion’s tail”.
Hussein Dehqan, also a former defense minister, blasted Trump for using his address to the United Nations to shamelessly boast about his order in January to assassinate Iranian anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani.