Tehran slams Seoul for miscalling Persian Gulf

January 22, 2020 - 18:59

TEHRAN — Tehran has strongly criticized Seoul for misnaming the Persian Gulf and dispatching a military mission to the waters south of Iran under a pressure by the United States.

“If South Korea does not even know the historical name of the Persian Gulf, with what knowledge and excuse does it want to send its military forces to this region?” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted in both Persian and Korean languages on Tuesday night.

“Mutual respect and accepting the realities are the basis of relations between civilized nations,” he added.

It came after Seoul announced a decision to expand the operational area of its anti-piracy unit from the Gulf of Aden to the Gulf of Oman and “the Arab-Persian Gulf.”

On Sunday, Mousavi similarly criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for misnaming the Persian Gulf and for France’s military presence in the region.

“I remind Monsieur Macron that the gulf located south of Iran has only one name and that is the #PersianGulf. Your military presence in the Persian Gulf is as wrong as your naming it. Both mistakes are huge but compensable,” Mousavi said.

It came after Macron said in a tweet that France had deployed the Jaguar Task Force mission to the Arabian Peninsula and in “the Arab-Persian Gulf.”

The Persian Gulf is an international trade route connecting the Middle East to Africa, India and China. It has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as “Persian” since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern day Iran.

According to Press TV, the South Korean Defense Ministry said it had decided to “temporarily expand” the sphere of activity of its 302-strong Cheonghae unit given the current situation in the Middle East, adding that Tehran had been briefed on the deployment.

It also noted that the naval task force would operate separately from a U.S.-led military coalition, which has been deployed to the Persian Gulf waters under the pretext of protecting shipping lanes.

Over the past months, the United States has been trying to persuade its allies into a so-called International Maritime Security Construct, under the pretext of providing “security” for merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and other strategic Middle Eastern shipping lanes.

Last week, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris renewed the call for Seoul to join the naval mission amid tensions between the two allies over a military cost-sharing deal, which they have failed to extend due to unresolved differences.

The Islamic Republic believes that such alliances are actually meant to consolidate the West’s illegitimate military presence in the region and fuel insecurity.


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