Iran’s Quds Force has mastered the art of diminishing America’s power and influence, Iran’s top military commander said on Wednesday.

Speaking with Iran’s Channel 2 television on May 5, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander-in-Chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami called the United States “the most unique empire in human history.”

“Diminishing that power, eroding it, making it void, depleting it from within and forcing it to disintegrate along wide fronts, is a great thing,” he said. “It is a form of art to create power while the enemy invades, and when there is no classic and organized [military] power,” he added.

“Look, this is the art of [the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’] Quds Force. Perhaps it has not been declared so far. This is the art of defeating America’s policy, strategy and power. All together. Quds Force does this. It continues to do this,” he said.

Turning to Israel, Salami threatened the country’s commercial shipping, saying, “A month or two ago,  all the vulnerabilities of the Zionist entity [Israel] were demonstrated. For example, it was shown that the commercial shipping of the Zionist regime is vulnerable anywhere in the world.”

On April 13, the Israeli-owned cargo vessel Hyperion Ray sustained light damage in what was believed to have been an Iranian missile strike off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

The incident was the third suspected case of an Iranian attack against an Israeli-owned commercial vessel, in the context of a series of reported tit-for-tat strikes at sea between the two countries.