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Iran Politely Reminds US That It Has a Military

The Persians staged large-scale naval drills in the waterway where a third of all oil traded by sea goes through. Is the message finally getting through to Washington?

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Iran just held massive naval drills near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

It didn't have to be like this — but some people just don't listen to reason.

<figcaption>A major bummer. Washington prefers to invade defenseless nations.</figcaption>
A major bummer. Washington prefers to invade defenseless nations.

As RT reports:

[Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari] said that the war games include electronic warfare, missile tests, intelligence operations, the deployment of submarines, and relief and rescue operations, as cited by Tasnim.

Apart from the main drills, Iran’s Navy commando units are conducting special operations in the southeastern Makran region.

Last June, Sayyari said that Tehran was planning to carry out 20 military drills before March 2017.

Let's hop into our internet time machine and go back to February 19. This was around the time that Iran was "put on notice" by Washington.

Tehran's response was predictable:

[Iranian Foreign Minister] Javad Zarif warned that Iran doesn't "respond well" to such language and dismissed sanctions as ineffective.

"Threats do not work against Iran," Zarif told NBC News. "It would work much better if they decided to use the language of respect, the language of mutual interest."

Did Washington listen? No.

Then a few days later Turkey's Foreign Minister lashed out at Tehran, claiming that "Iran wants to make Syria and Iraq Shiite". Again, the response from Iran was swift:

The Iranian foreign ministry on Monday summoned the Turkish envoy to issue a protest after Cavusoglu’s comments while spokesman Bahram Ghassemi warned that Tehran’s patience “had limits”.

We hope that such statements are not made again. If our Turkish friends continue with this attitude we will not remain silent,” he added.

Did anyone listen? No.

So it's no surprise that Tehran staged a small military parade smack in the middle of a waterway where a third of all oil traded by sea goes through.

Can Iran make itself any more clear?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, Harvard University scholar, told Arab News that Iran’s state-owned newspapers are hailing the second major military exercise since the inauguration of Trump. 

“The reformists, moderates and hardliners believe that this is a tactically and strategically intelligent move,” Rafizadeh said. “Iran is sending a message to the Trump administration and regional powers that it will not alter the core pillars of its foreign and regional policy even if there is a new administration in Washington.” 

Rafizadeh noted the Islamic Republic is showcasing its military and hard power in an attempt to assert regional preeminence and superiority. 

Trump needs to abandon his pipe dream of a Sunni anti-Iran coalition. It's suicide.

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