By staff and agency

UN calls for restraint amid regional tension

May 17, 2019 - 19:49

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has called for “maximum restraint” from all parties amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. and in the Middle East region.

“We are very concerned about the volatility of the situation. We call on everyone to exercise maximum restraint, prevent any escalation of and heightening of tensions,” Xinhua quoted him as saying on Thursday.

“The situation ... is already fairly volatile and we are concerned by the rhetoric that we have been hearing,” he told a regular press briefing.

He added, “We are following the situation. Our message, and the secretary-general’s general message, is one of restraint, both in terms of actions and in terms of rhetoric. These are situations where actions and rhetoric can be misinterpreted and can lead to catastrophic actions. It’s very, very important that we see restraint both in terms of the rhetoric and in terms of the action.”

According to Al Jazeera, the U.S. has approved the deployment of a Patriot missile defense battery and another warship to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran.

“The Acting Secretary of Defense has approved the movement of USS Arlington (LPD-24) and a Patriot battery to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) as part of the command’s original request for forces from earlier this week,” a Pentagon statement said.

The USS Arlington, which transports marines, amphibious vehicles, and rotary aircraft, as well as the Patriot missiles, will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, which already passed through Egypt's Suez Canal on Thursday, and is currently sailing in the Red Sea, according to CNN.

The U.S. says the deployments of military hardware to the region comes in response to what it claimed “heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations”.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has ruled out the possibility of war between the U.S. and Iran despite heightened tensions between the two sides.

He said on Tuesday that Washington knows engaging in such a conflict would not be in its interest.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told BBC on Tuesday that the U.S. is not looking for war with Iran.


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