Iran‘s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned the United States “every empire will end” in an apparent message to President Donald Trump over US intervention in the Strait of Hormuz. Conflict fears increased since Tehran and Washington began trading barbs in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw his support of the Iran nuclear deal and his decision to impose additional sanctions on the Iranian regime. In a video shared by Iranian Government-owned Press TV, Mr Zarif issued a chilling warning to the US: “You’ve mistaken Iran for your servants, servants who buy security from you and obey your orders in return.
“But Iran is of a different kind. Iran is established on seven thousand years of civilisation. The lifespan of the Persian Empire is several times longer than the whole history of the United States.
“We know that imperial power is not permanent. We know that every empire will end someday as the Persian Empire ended.
“We know that no power is eternal, that the only superpower is God.”
Mr Zarif was himself personally subjected to extra sanctions by the US Government last month after repeated verbal threats over skirmishes in the Strait of Hormuz.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been facing accusations of interfering with the free passage of international vessels in the area which is key to the transportation of crude oil but Tehran denied the claims. However, in late July the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized British tanker Stena Impero and detained 23 crew members who have yet to be released.
In response to growing tension in the Persian Gulf, President Trump has led efforts to form an international coalition to provide passing vessels with extra security.
The US President also dispatched USS Abraham Lincoln to the southern tip of the strait to act as a deterrent for Tehran.
US 5th Fleet Admiral Michael Boyle said: “In this particular case, where 20 percent of the world’s oil comes through the Strait of Hormuz, that’s not just a United States issue. It’s a global issue.”
Boris Johnson dispatched HMS Duncan shortly after the IRGC took over the Stena Impero to provide additional support to HMS Montrose in securing passage for oil vessels. And the Department of Defence announced HMS Kent is to take over from Duncan in the coming days.
HMS Kent’s Captain Commander Andy Brown said: “Today’s departure on operations has been achieved through the hard work and support of the ship’s company, their families and the wider defence enterprise.
“Our focus in the Gulf remains firmly one of de-escalating the current tensions. But we are committed to upholding freedom of navigation and reassuring international shipping, which this deployment on operations aims to do.”
HMS Kent is a Type 23 Duke class frigate and was the first ship to enter naval service in the 21st Century.