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Iran Summons Swiss Ambassador Representing US to Lodge Protest Against Trump's Threats

© Sputnik / Andrey Stenin / Go to the mediabankIranian Foreign Ministry
Iranian Foreign Ministry - Sputnik International
The US president said he had "instructed" the country's Navy to shoot and sink Iranian gunboats if they start harassing American war vessels in the Persian Gulf. Head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami later cautioned Washington against such step warning that Tehran will shoot back.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents the US interests in the country in the absence of an American diplomatic mission, to lodge a protest against the most recent US threats against the Islamic Republic.

"He [the diplomat] was given a note for the US authorities with Iran's decisive protest against the threats of the US forces, including their illegal presence and actions, destabilisation of the naval navigation in the north of the Persian Gulf and next to Iran's coast", Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

The ministry said that Iran strongly opposes all threats made by US President Donald Trump in his tweet on 22 April and will respond to any threats to the country.

Iran, in its message conveyed via the Swiss ambassador, also advised Trump to focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic right now because the US remains the leader in terms of the number of cases worldwide. Tehran additionally suggested that the American military would be of more use in helping Washington deal with the epidemic rather than patrolling the Gulf.

Trump Instructs Navy to Shoot Iranian Gunboats

Two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels, some of several to maneuver in what the U.S. Navy says are unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range is seen next to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton in the Gulf April 15, 2020 - Sputnik International
US Navy Has Authorities to Translate Trump’s Warning to Iran Into Lethal Action - Pentagon

The summoning came in the wake of President Trump announcing that he "instructed" the US Navy to "shoot down and destroy" any Iranian boats that harass American military vessels. The development follows complaints by the Navy that some Iranian gunboats came dangerously close to American warships in the Persian Gulf.

Head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami cautioned the US against engaging in hostile actions against Iranian vessels, threatening a "crushing response". He noted that the security of the Persian Gulf is one of Iran's "strategic priorities".

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