DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Iran can sink U.S. warships sent to the Gulf region using missiles and “secret weapons,” a senior Iranian military official was quoted as saying by the semi-official news agency Mizan on Saturday.
The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country’s Revolutionary Guard of direct responsibility for this month’s tanker attacks.
“America … is sending two warships to the region. If they commit the slightest stupidity, we will send these ships to the bottom of the sea along with their crew and planes using two missiles or two new secret weapons,” Gen. Morteza Qorbani, an adviser to Iran’s military command, told Mizan.
The U.S. actions were the latest by the Trump administration as it highlights what it sees as a threat of potential attack by Iran, and follows decisions to speed the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group as well as send bombers and additional Patriot missiles to the Middle East.
Western experts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although there are concerns about its missile program and particularly its long-range ballistic missiles.
The remarks came the same say another senior military commander said “rational Americans and experienced U.S. commanders” are likely to rein in Washington’s “radical elements” and prevent a war with Iran.
“We believe rational Americans and their experienced commanders will not let their radical elements lead them into a situation from which it would be very difficult to get out, and that is why they will not enter a war,” Brig. Gen. Hassan Seifi, an assistant to Iran’s army chief, told the country’s semi-official news agency Mehr on Saturday.