Pentagon leaders must now develop orders for troops that match President Donald Trump's tweet instructing the Navy to shoot at harassing Iranian ships, Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday.
"We have ordered our naval units at sea that if any warships or military units from the naval force of America's terrorist army wants to jeopardize our commercial vessels or our combat vessels, they must target those warships or naval units, " Salami added.
A day earlier, Hatami said the "illegal and aggressive" presence of USA forces in the Gulf is causing insecurity in the region, Press TV reported.
This handout photo provided by Iran's Revolutionary Guards shows an Iranian military satellite that they said was launched in Iran's central plateau amid tensions with USA, on April 22, 2020.
Tehran also says it hasn't violated a United Nations resolution on its ballistic missile program as it only "called upon" Iran not to conduct such tests.
Ali Jafarabadi who was speaking on an evening TV show Thursday, April 23 announced that the satellite launched on Wednesday is part of a "mega-project" and "larger satellites will be deployed at higher orbits".
"We resolutely, effectively and confidently stand up against the threats that jeopardize our national security and territorial integrity; this is not a path that we will walk away from and will keep treading it by God's grace".
Trump instructs Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats ‘if they harass our ships’
Navy video showed small Iranian gunboats coming close to U.S. warships as they operated in the northern Persian Gulf near Kuwait. Trump's tweet came after Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had put the Islamic Republic's first military satellite into orbit.
The satellite was placed into orbit 425 kilometers (265 miles) above the Earth's surface.
After approximately an hour, the Iranian vessels responded to the radio queries, before maneuvering away from the US ships and increasing the distance between them, according to the Navy.
Trump did not cite a specific Iranian provocation in his tweet or provide details.
Asked whether the tweet means a repeat of last week's incident in the Gulf would require a lethal USA response, Hyten said, "I would have to be the captain of the ship in order to make that determination". While the U.S., Israel and other countries declined to immediately confirm the satellite reached orbit, their criticism suggested they believed the launch happened.
On 3 January, the USA killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, in a drone strike in Iraq.
On Wednesday, Hyten said the US military has a right to respond to "hostile intent" and has specific guidance on how to use lethal force. Western missile experts have also questioned the US contention that Iran's program could have a dual use for nuclear weapons.
While the world is focused on the coronavirus pandemic, tensions have been simmering between the Trump administration and Iran. "I don't think it remotely is, and I think Iran needs to be held accountable for what they have done".