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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Iran military threatens U.S. troops in region

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 23 – The supreme commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps issued a daring threat to the United States that its troops in the Middle East faced peril if the U.S. showed aggression against the Islamic Republic.

“If the United States was to attack Iran, its 200,000 forces and its 33 bases would be extremely vulnerable. Both America’s policy-makers and military commanders are aware of this”, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi told hard-line Islamists. His comments were reported by the government-run news agency Fars on 21 November.

“The global arena in which we live today is one of uncertainty and distrust. It is a sensitive, determining, and complicated period for the region and the world”, General Safavi said.

He warned that Tehran had the military muscle to impose a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz on Iran’s southern shores.

“Whenever Iran chooses, it can control the Strait of Hormuz, in which 17 millions barrels of oil travel through each day”, Safavi said.

About two-fifths of the world's oil supplies pass through the 50-kilometre-wide entrance to the Persian Gulf.

Earlier this year, the IRGC commander had described the strait as “the economic lifeline” of the West, saying it could be used to put pressure on Iran’s “enemies”.

The IRGC held a series of war-games in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman earlier this month.
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