Tensions do not abate between Washington and Tehran. The head of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, promised Thursday, April 23, a "decisive response" to the United States if the threats of President Donald Trump to "destroy" Iranian boats in the Gulf were implemented.

"We declare to the Americans that we are absolutely determined and serious ... and that any action will be greeted with a decisive response that will be effective and swift," said Major General Hossein Salami on state television.

Iran will "destroy" any US warship threatening its security in the waters of the Gulf, he said. 

"I have ordered our naval forces to destroy any US terrorist force in the Persian Gulf that threatens the security of Iran's military or non-military ships," said Hossein Salami. "Security in the Gulf is one of Iran's strategic priorities," he said.

Swiss ambassador summoned

According to the Iranian news agency IRIB, the authorities have also summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who represents American interests in Iran.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that he had ordered the U.S. Navy to fire on any Iranian ship that harassed him at sea.

Last week, the Pentagon, denouncing a "dangerous and provocative" maneuver, said that a dozen buildings of the body of the Revolutionary Guards had approached very close to buildings of the US Navy and the guard American coast in the waters of the Gulf, sometimes only ten meters.

The crisis that has been brewing for years between Washington and Tehran has worsened with the death of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Al-Quds force responsible for external operations, killed on January 3 by an American drone near Baghdad. The Iranian army retaliated a few days later by firing a missile salvo at US positions in Iraq.

Oil prices rose sharply on Thursday in Asia. Prices have followed a rollercoaster-like trajectory in recent days, which has even seen US oil in negative territory for the first time in its history.

With AFP

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