An Iranian admiral blasted US warships in the Persian Gulf for doing more harm than good and said they are “the cause of absolute evil,” the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency reported.
“We have been telling the Americans for years that their military presence in the Persian Gulf is not only damaging but also cause of absolute evil,” Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said.
The naval commander made the comments at a ceremony in the northwestern city of Tabriz on Monday.
According to the report, Fadavi also claimed that an incident earlier this year in which 10 US Navy sailors were captured and held after their patrol boats strayed into Iranian waters was a plot to sabotage the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers. He did not elaborate.
The American sailors were detained on January 12 and released a day later. The US Navy said the crew members were returned safely and there were no indications they had been harmed while in custody, but the incident, and Iranian boasting about it, served to chill ties between Tehran and Washington that had recently thawed slightly.
Iranian political and military leaders have repeatedly castigated the US over the incident, gloating about ostensible American panic, cowardice and lack of professionalism, and releasing video footage showing soldiers being held at gunpoint and one sailor tearfully apologizing.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.