Rouhani: We don’t accept to sit at ‘surrender table’

Rouhani says Strait of Hormuz no place for ‘joking’

July 24, 2019

TEHRAN – Referring to recent U.S. and UK adventurisms in the Strait of Hormuz, President Hassan Rouhani warned on Wednesday that the strategic waterway is no place for joking.  

The Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman, is a major strategic waterway through which about one-fifth of global oil consumption passes on its way from Middle Eastern producers including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE and Kuwait as well as Iran.

“The security of the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman, and Strait of Hormuz is of utmost importance to Iran,” Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting.

He added, “The Strait of Hormuz has a very sensitive situation. It is no place for joking, neither one where a country decides to ignore international regulations and enter the Strait on the wrong direction while also disregarding the warnings of the Revolution Guards who are in charge of the security of the Strait.”

Iran seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, when Iranian authorities said it was involved in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat and ignored its distress call before capture.

Allah-Morad Afifipoor, head of Ports and Maritime Organization in southern Hormozgan Province, said on Saturday that the 30,000-ton UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker had “collided with a fishing boat on its route and, according to law, after an accident it is necessary that the causes are investigated.”

Following the collision, those on board the fishing boat “contacted the British vessel but didn’t receive any response,” so they informed the Hormozgan maritime organization “according to the legal procedures,” the local official added.

In his remarks in the cabinet, Rouhani said, “The responsibility to make sure of the security of the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf is mostly on the shoulders of Iran and the neighboring countries, and it is none of the business of other countries. Iran has always been a guardian of the Persian Gulf.”

Rouhani went on to say that the world should thank the IRGC for security of the Persian Gulf, including by stopping the British tanker.

“The Revolution Guards bravely and powerfully stopped the criminal British ship, because it had ignored all warnings. The Guards has carried out a very meticulous and professional deed here.”

Rouhani also said that Iran will not allow any country to attempt to create unruliness in the Persian Gulf. “While we do not seek tension and military confrontation, what actions we have taken so far have been in correspondence with the crimes of the other side. It was the same story with downing the trespassing drone, which was a very meticulous and professional job.”

“If our country’s territory is violated, we will response in the same manner again.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said his country is quite ready for “fair, legal and dignified” negotiations but it will not accept to “surrender” under the name of negotiation. 

Rouhani was indirectly referring to Donald Trump’s repeated calls for negotiations with Iran.

Iran has said negotiations and sanctions cannot go together, insisting that the Trump administration must first lift sanctions against Iran and then talk about negotiations.

Since leaving the multi-nation nuclear deal in May 2018, the Trump administration has slapped the hardest ever sanctions on Iran.

Rouhani said his government has never lost and will never lose the chance of negotiations.

“So long as I am in charge of the country’s executive affairs we are quite ready for fair, legal and dignified negotiations… but we are not ready to sit near surrender table under the name of negotiation.”

SP/PA

Leave a Comment

3 + 4 =