Iran Warns US Not To Target Two Cargo Ships

Tehran issued a warning to Washington on Sunday telling the United States not to target two Mideast cargo ships that the West has linked to Iran for military strikes.

The statement from Iran warned U.S. authorities against striking the Behshad and Saviz, two cargo ships the West has suspected serve as a base for Iranian commandos operating at sea. The warnings came after the U.S. and U.K. launched a series of targeted airstrikes at Houthi military installations in Yemen.

The Iranian Army warned in a video statement to the U.S., “Those engaging in terrorist activities against Behshad or similar vessels jeopardize international maritime routes, security and assume global responsibility for potential future international risks.”

The sudden statement and serious tone from Tehran signals the Iranian government’s growing distress over U.S. and U.K. strikes in Iraq, Syria and Yemen over recent days, all targeting anti-government militia groups backed by the Shiite Islamic Republic.

“These attacks will not discourage Yemeni forces and the nation from maintaining their support for Palestinians in the face of the Zionist occupation and crimes. The aggressors’ airstrikes will not go unanswered,” Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree said.

“We are prepared to deal with anything that any group or any country tries to come at us with,” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CBS on “Face the Nation.” “And the president has been clear that we will continue to respond to threats that American forces face as we go forward.”

The U.S. Treasury Department has placed the Tehran-based company that registers the Behshad and Saviz as commercial cargo ships under sanction as a front for the government-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

The Saviz is currently in the Indian Ocean near an area that the U.S. alleges was the site of Iranian drone attacks targeting commercial shipping.

“We cannot rule out that there will be future attacks from Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria or from the Houthis,” Sullivan said. He said President Joe Biden has told commanders “they need to be positioned to respond to further attacks as well,” but he assured viewers that Biden “is not looking for a wider war” in the Middle East.