'Speak Farsi!' IRGC tells US Marines in tense Gulf waters exchange
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) navy and the US Marine Corps were involved in a tense verbal exchange, as the Americans came close to Iranian waters, Tehran's state media reported on Tuesday.
The IRGC reportedly warned the US warship against violating its territorial waters, while ordering the Americans to "speak Farsi", according to the IRNA news agency.
"This is the Persian Gulf. Speak Farsi. Did you hear me?" an IRGC officer is heard saying in a video published by IRNA.
"Thank you very much. We heard you, we'll contact you on channel 16," the US vessel purportedly responds.
The video shows a commander in the IRGC Marine Corps giving an order to the US Marine Corps to speak in Farsi, as they crossed the Gulf waters.
Video: Humiliation of American sailors by IRGC forces— IRNA News Agency (@IrnaEnglish) May 1, 2023
The IRGC's sailors force the American sailors to speak Farsi instead of English in the Persian Gulf and also immediately move away from the sea borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. pic.twitter.com/wjrJkNpNzW
The IRGC officer is then shown directing the US vessel to take a different course, threatening to "deal decisively" with the ship if it did not comply.
"This is the coalition warship. We changed our course in international waters," a voice is heard responding over the radio in Farsi.
"We conduct regular patrols in international waters to maintain security."
The US Marine Corps maintains a presence in the Gulf, where several thousand US soldiers are stationed.
The area is on high alert after Iran seized a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Oman on 27 April.
The oil tanker, which was flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, sent a distress call to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, which is based in nearby Bahrain.
"Iran's actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability," the Fifth Fleet said in a statement, urging the Iranians to release the tanker.