Following are excerpts from an interview with General Gholam-Reza Bigham, deputy commander of the Iranian Navy, which aired on Al-Alam TV on August 8, 2012. The translation is from the Arabic voice-over.
Gholam-Reza Bigham: There is not the slightest doubt that the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 33 years after the victory of the blessed Islamic revolution, are fully prepared, Allah be praised, and have modern and effective weapons and equipment at their disposal.
We have stated, time and again, that we are capable of providing our armed forces with advanced weapons, which will enable them to protect our national interests. At the same time, we have declared that we extend our hand in friendship to all the countries of the world.
With regard to the possibility of war breaking out in the region – we are convinced that there would be no triumphant side in such a war, while it would wreak destruction upon all the countries of the region, not merely upon [the interests of] the United States. The interests of all the countries in the world would be subject to great danger.
Therefore, we hope that no one will perpetrate such a stupid act, which would endanger the interests of the countries of the region and the world.
At the same time, however, Iran and its heroic armed forces, and especially the navy, are fully prepared to respond powerfully to any threat to our country's interests.
We have useful experience from the war imposed on us by Iraq, which tried to deploy forces on the edges of the Strait of Hormuz. The world has seen how easily we imposed our control over the straits, and did not allow a single vessel to pass through to Iraq.
We did this with the capabilities that our armed forces had at the time. It is only natural that in light of the development of our military capabilities, we are capable of exercising our control over a wide area today. We have become capable of delivering devastating blows within enemy territory, using the advanced, Iranian-produced military equipment and systems. In addition, our military operational plan would be different from the past.
However, we hope it will not reach the point where we witness war in the region, where we would have to discuss our ability to close the Strait of Hormuz.