Iran fully prepared to protect own interests in Persian Gulf, says top general

September 13, 2019

TEHRAN – Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, has said Iran is fully prepared to protect its interests in the Persian Gulf.

“In the current circumstances, Iran is ready to decisively defend its security and interests in the Persian Gulf,” Baqeri said on Thursday while addressing a host of professors and students of China’s National Defense University in Beijing.

Heading a high-ranking military delegation, Baqeri visited China on Wednesday for a three-day trip with the aim of promoting bilateral defense diplomacy.

“We have never started any aggression or war and will never do so but we will decisively defend our security and sovereignty in case of any aggression or intervention by foreign countries,” he said, according to Mehr.

Baqeri said the Islamic Republic is after “defending the approach which focuses on the active participation of all regional countries to build a collective and regional security structure.”

“Iran will not tolerate hegemony and interventions of trans-regional powers,” the commander stated.

He added that Iran has never welcomed the presence of 70,000 foreign military forces and more than 40 military bases of the U.S. in the region.

If the U.S. finds a chance, it will build more bases and dispatch more forces to the region in a bid to intervene in the internal affairs of different countries, General Baqeri warned.

The top Iranian general further stressed that the security of the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman should only be provided by the Persian Gulf States.

“The presence and deployment of the U.S. and Western military forces such as the already-failed U.S.-led coalition to secure naval security in the Persian Gulf will not yield any results except sowing more insecurity.”

Baqeri’s comments come months after an escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf, where the U.S. has been beefing up its military presence allegedly to contain Iran’s growing influence.

Iran has repeatedly warned that it would react to any attempt to undermine the security of the region or to make it difficult for the country to export its oil.

Last month, President Hassan Rouhani said measures taken by some extra-regional countries, especially the United States, in the Persian Gulf only serve to render the region’s problems more complicated and make it appear less secure in the eyes of the world.

“Iran attaches great importance to maintaining and consolidating security in the Persian Gulf region, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, and spares no effort in this regard, because it believes that maintaining this security will ensure development and interests of regional people,” Rouhani stated.

MH/PA

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