Arab papers On U.S. Sailors Incident: "Tehran to Washington: I Control The Gulf.". (Memri).
Following the incident, articles were published in the Arab press both by supporters of Iran and by its opponents, claiming that, with its actions, Iran had sent a message to the U.S. Tareq Al-Homayed, former editor of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, stated that the IRGC had shamed U.S. President Obama and shown him to be weak on the eve of the JCPOA's "Implementation Day."
The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hizbullah and supports the resistance axis, argued that the IRGC was sending a message to the U.S. that Iran will be willing to clash with it if it has to, and at the same time telling other countries – that is, the Gulf states – not to mess with Iran. It should be noted that Al-Akhbar's January 14, 2016 front page showed the photo of the American sailors kneeling with hands on their heads, under a headline reading "Tehran to Washington: I Control The Gulf."
Lebanese Daily Close To Hizbullah: Iran Sent U.S. And Others A Message That It Is Ready For A Clash.
The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hizbullah and the Iranian axis, published an article by columnist Hassan Haidar, who claimed that Iran wanted to use this incident to send a message to the U.S. that it would not hesitate to clash with it if necessary.
He added that this was also a message to other countries, hinting at the Gulf states, specifically Saudi Arabia, that the rules of the game have changed and that they must acknowledge their own weakness.
He wrote: "This incident was a quiet yet an important battle, since it took place off the Saudi coast, targeted an American force, and triggered American [responses expressing] hope [that Iran would not hurt the sailors], which were akin to apologizing to Iran. Washington did not threaten war or raise its voice...
"The Revolutionary Guards, which are in charge of defending the Gulf, are known to 'see but not be seen' - a term coined by the head of their navy, General Ali Fadavi. This means that they watch [the goings on] in the Gulf without being noticed by anyone, and in an emergency, they suddenly appear.
"The Revolutionary Guards possibly wanted to send a message to all, that if Iran feels that its interests and security are at stake, it will be willing to enter any conflict, even with the U.S....
[Furthermore,] dealing with Washington in this way ensures that smaller [countries] understand that Tehran will never hesitate to respond to any violation of its sovereignty, and that the rules of the game have changed, and therefore certain [elements] should recognize the limits of their power."