Iran cmdr. warns foreign nuclear-powered subs could cause potential environmental threats in Persian Gulf
The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has censured the presence of extra-regional forces and their nuclear-powered submarines in the Persian Gulf, saying such types of warships should not be deployed in the strategic waterway due to their potential environmental threats.
Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said in televised remarks on Sunday that the presence of nuclear-powered submarines in the Persian Gulf can result in marine pollution in case of an accident, which can lead to a “catastrophe” in the international waterway.
“Extra-regional countries like the United States, France and others have nuclear-powered submarines. Considering that the Persian Gulf is a closed area, if something happens to one of the submarines and the submarine's reactor faces a problem or collides with other vessels, it will cause the area to remain polluted for 11 years,” Tangsiri said.
“This means that for 11 years, there will be no fish and aquatic animals in this area, and its water will become unusable. In fact, the Persian Gulf region will be facing a catastrophe,” he added.
The senior commander stressed that the countries present in the region do not take their nuclear watercraft into closed bays “but they do so in the Persian Gulf while it is prohibited and this should not happen.”
Tangsiri said Iran’s neighbors should know that the presence of foreign forces would not create security in the region.
“Our neighbors should never think that extra-regional countries will stay in the region to defend them; but they will [eventually] leave the region,” he added, stressing that the foreigners are in the region either for selling weapons or plundering oil resources.
Eight-nation alliance for Persian Gulf security
The commander of the IRGC’s Navy also proposed that the eight littoral states of the Persian Gulf should form a naval alliance to ensure regional security without the presence of outsiders.
Stressing that the Persian Gulf countries are capable of ensuring regional security through mutual cooperation within the framework of an 8-nation alliance, Tangsiri said, “We can work together to ensure the security of this region in the form of the alliance of the eight Persian Gulf countries and let the people of the region live in peace.”
Tangsiri added that the extra-regional countries promote Iranophobia in order to justify their illegitimate presence in the region.
The Persian Gulf — spanning some 251,000 square kilometers — is bounded by the Arvand River in the north, which forms the frontier between Iran and Iraq, and the Strait of Hormuz in the south, linking the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean.
The strategic inland sea is an international trade route connecting the Middle East to Africa, India, and China.
Iranian military officials have on numerous occasions stated that the presence of extra-regional forces in the Persian Gulf is illegitimate and there is no need for them to ensure the security of the strategic waterway.