The top naval officer in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claims that nine of his service’s sailors have been killed in clashes with the U.S. Navy – a rare report of fatalities from direct confrontation between the two naval forces.
In a speech at the former U.S. Embassy complex in Tehran on Sunday, Adm. Alireza Tangsiri said that some of the encounters between U.S. and Iranian naval units have gone unreported. Without specifying the timing, number or location of these battles, he said that IRGC casualties from run-ins with the United States include a total of nine deaths – and that the IRGC has responded nine times.
“We have slapped the Americans on the number of martyrs of the IRGC Navy in a direct battle with the United States in the Persian Gulf, although the reports of many Iranian-American clashes in the Persian Gulf have not been released,” Adm. Tangsiri told state-owned outlet Tehran Times. “For nine martyrs in a direct battle with the Americans, we were able to give them nine memorable slaps.”