‘They shall soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, (the Strait of) Gibraltar and other waterways,’ Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, a senior member of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Corps, said on Saturday.
Iran had accused the US and other Western states of backing up Israel’s alleged war crimes committed during its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, where more than 20,000 people have died since October 7.
The Iran-aligned Houthi group, based in Yemen, has attacked several merchant vessels sailing through the Red Sea in retaliation against Israel’s brutal assault on the Gaza Strip, disrupting global trade and forcing some shipping companies to switch routes.
The White House said on Friday that Iran was ‘deeply involved’ in the planning of these attacks. Naqdi talked of ‘the birth of new powers of resistance and the closure of other waterways’.
‘Yesterday, the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz became a nightmare for them, and today they are trapped … in the Red Sea,’ Naqdi added.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told CNN that the US has intelligence that suggests Iran has provided a monitoring system which is essential for the attacks.
‘Iran has the choice to provide or withhold this support, without which the Houthis would struggle to effectively track and strike commercial vessels navigating shipping lanes through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden,’ Watson said.
‘Iranian-provided tactical intelligence has been critical in enabling Houthi targeting of maritime vessels since the group commenced attacks in November,’ she added.
But Iran’s deputy foreign minister rejected claims that it was involved in the Houthi attacks.
‘The resistance (Huthis) has its own tools… and acts in accordance with its own decisions and capabilities,’ Iran’s deputy foreign minister Ali Bagheri told the country’s Mehr news agency.
‘The fact that certain powers, such as the Americans and the Israelis, suffer strikes from the resistance movement… should in no way call into question the reality of the strength of the resistance in the region,’ he added.