In this AFP file photo taken on April 30, 2019, Iranian military personnel ride in a patrol boat as they take part in the "National Persian Gulf day" in the Strait of Hormuz.
The reason behind the United Statesí recent move to step up its anti-Iran threats is to prevent the Islamic Republic from asserting itself as the natural hegemon of the West Asia and Persian Gulf region, says a political analyst.
Sam Mahdi Torabi, director of the Risalat Strategic Studies Institute from the Iranian city of Qom, made the remarks during a Thursday edition of Press TVís The Debate program while commenting on US President Donald Trumpís warning about the consequences of "harassing" US warships patrolling in the Persian Gulf.
Trump wrote on his twitter account on Wednesday that he has instructed the US Navy "to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea."
"The Americans have decided and have found that in order to be the global hegemon, they need to control West Asia and the Persian Gulf; so, they define controlling the Persian Gulf as vital to their national interests and to their ability to be the global hegemon. Whatís interesting is that we are witnessing in the last 10 years that Iran is assuming its position as the natural hegemon of the region and thereby replacing the US as the hegemon in the region," Torabi told Press TV on Thursday.
"Their main goal is to prevent Iran from being the natural hegemon of the region," he added. "The reality is that Iran is the natural hegemon. It will assert that position in the coming years and the US has to come to the point where it can accept that it will no longer be the hegemon of the region."
Trump posted the tweet as a reaction to a recent confrontation between US warships and Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf.
Iranís Islamic Revolution Guards Corps released a video on Sunday that shows the IRGC Navy warning off a flotilla of US warships in the Persian Gulf as they try to approach the Iranian territorial waters.
In the video, a member of the IRGC Navy warns the vessels to stop inspecting and detaining Iranian fishing or commercial ships in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. He also warns them that they would face consequences according to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran if they ignore this notice.
In a statement released on Sunday, the IRGC refuted the claims by the US that Iranian forces behaved in a dangerous manner when faced with US Navy vessels. The IRGC further blamed Washington as the main source of insecurity in the in West Asia region and called for the full withdrawal of all American forces.
Moreover, the chief commander of the IRGC downplayed on Thursday the recent USí anti-Iran rhetoric, warning that the Islamic Republic would target American vessels if they were to threaten the safety of the countryís vessels or warships.
Michael Lane, founder of American Institute for Foreign Policy from Washington DC, was the other panelist invited to The Debate program, who described the Persian Gulf region as important to the USís strategic national interests.
"The Persian Gulf has been defined by the United States as important to its strategic national interests; so, we are there looking after our national interests to ensure that everything is fine... We are there with a significant number of military assets to ensure that we have the opportunity to react appropriately in case hostilities are imminent or even broke out," Lane said.
Asked whether the Persian Gulf region was headed for a war, Lane said, "I donít think we are heading for a conflict. The United States military assets in the region are so overwhelming in terms of sophistication, power and the ability to deliver things and target. I think Iran understands that itís not in their interest at this point to have any sort of armed conflict."
Trumpís threat comes as his administration is under unprecedented pressure over its highly criticized response to the coronavirus pandemic, prompting suggestions that his anti-Iran statement is probably meant to divert attention from his poor handling of the crisis.
SOURCE: PRESS TV