Foreign forces are main cause of regional tension, Rouhani says in meeting with Oman FM

July 28, 2019

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that presence of foreign forces in the region are the main cause of tension in the region.

During a meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Tehran, Rouhani said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran makes efforts to make the Sea of Oman, Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz a safe and secure route for international shipping.”

He noted that Iran and Oman have the main responsibility to maintain security in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Strait of Hormuz - a vital waterway through which a fifth of the world’s crude oil supplies and a quarter of liquefied natural gas shipments flow - is between Iran and Oman.

“If we seek to have progress and development in the region, all of us should make efforts in line with maintaining stability and security in the region,” he said.

Rouhani also noted that Iran has never initiated and will never initiate tension, saying that the current regional tension is caused by the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Elsewhere, he said that Britain will suffer harms for seizing Iran’s oil tanker.

On July 4, Britain captured a tanker carrying Iranian oil off the coast of Gibraltar. Britain claimed it seized the tanker because it was carrying oil for Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

On July 19, Iran also seized a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for moving in the wrong direction and hitting a fishing boat.

Sources who have talked on condition of anonymity have said the main goal of the Omani chief diplomat’s trip to Tehran is to help settle the current tanker standoff between Iran and Britain and calm down the rising tension between Iran and the United States.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have said the B-Team, which includes White House national security advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (bibi), Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed are trying to lure the Trump administration into a war with Iran.

The United States has deployed aircraft carriers, B-52 bombers, F-22 fighter jets, hundreds of troops in the region to counter what it claims Iran’s threats.

Alawi: Regional security not possible without Iran

Alawi also said that the region is facing “fabricated and proxy crises”, adding that maintaining security in the region will not be possible without Iran.

“Iran and Oman should make any effort to maintain long lasting stability and security in the region despite all the challenges they face,” he said.

Oman’s chief diplomat described relations between Tehran and Muscat as “friendly and brotherly”.

“Tehran-Muscat relations have always been progressing in various areas, especially in business and investment,” he said.

Alawi held talks with Foreign Minister Zarif and Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s secretary of Supreme National Security Council, on Saturday.

After the meeting, Zarif wrote a post on his Twitter page that read, “Very pleased to host my distinguished friend Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Oman’s FM, in Tehran today. Discussed effects of the US’ #EconomicTerrorism on Iran; bilateral relations, regional developments & security in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.”

Shamkhani said all countries must follow the international law of navigation.

He noted that Iran’s seizure of the British oil tanker was “legal” and in line with navigation law while Britain’s act in seizing Iran’s oil tanker was “piracy”.

Alawi said all countries should avoid any action in the Strait of Hormuz which causes crisis and imposes cost on all sides.

‘Iran’s strategy is promoting regional security’

In a separate meeting with Alawi on Sunday, Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said that Iran’s strategy is promoting regional security.

“Security can be maintained by the regional countries but other countries’ interference will cause predictable dangers,” he said.

In order to have security, certain regional countries should change their behavior, the parliament speaker remarked.

Alawi said, “Our objective is stability and security in the region… We believe that Iran plays an important role in regional security.”

“Unfortunately, the world is not being ruled by logic and wisdom and we are witnessing rule of populism and illogical leaders. So, we ourselves should have cooperation and interaction,” he said.

NA/PA

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