New tension between US, Iran over Tehran’s threat to block Hormuz Strait

Does Tehran intend to close the Hormuz Strait to the US Navy, a step that could cause an armed conflict between the US and Iran? Such a warning was issued on Tuesday, May 3, by Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. In an interview with Iran's state-run TV channel in Tehran, he said Iran had built up its naval capability with a main goal of a conflict with the US Navy in the area. The general said, "We warn the US and its allies against any threatening passage through Hormuz, for if it ever happens, we will have no other choice but act according to the 1982 Convention (of the United Nations on the Law of the Sea)."
The statement came two days after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referring to the US, said, "They come here from the other side of the globe and stage war games. What are you doing here? Go back to the Bay of Pigs. Go and hold exercises there. What are you doing in the Persian Gulf?"
These remarks by senior Iranian figures follow an effort in the US Congress to punish Iran over its missile development program and the frequent maneuvers of the Revolutionary Guard's navy in the Gulf.
DEBKAfile's Iranian sources: Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard are taking advantage of the end of Obama's tenure to humiliate the US in an attempt to create the conditions for the cancellation of Tehran's nuclear agreement with Western powers in the future.
The humiliation of US marines who were briefly taken prisoner by the Revolutionary Guard's navy in January, as well as the recent flood of treats against the US by senior Iranian political and military figures, are part of this plan.           
 

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