‘Persian Gulf is our region and our armed forces should be able to patrol without hurdles’

Iran says foreign forces are source of regional tension

April 20, 2020 - 18:54

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that foreign forces’ presence in the region is the source of insecurity, instability and tension.

“We consider presence of the foreign forces, especially forces of the United States, in the region a source of tension, instability and insecurity. Their presence is illegal and illegitimate. This is our region and our armed forces must be able to patrol without hurdle,” he said in a press conference held through video conference.

He said, “This issue led to our forces’ response. It has been for thousands of years that Iran is in this region and the regional security must be provided by the regional countries, especially Oman which is in the Strait of Hormuz region.”

He urged foreign forces to leave the region and not make Iran give them warning.

On Monday, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Alireza Tangsiri said, “Wherever the Americans have been, there has been insecurity.”

Tangsiri said “we see no place” in the world that the U.S. has brought security there.
 
U.S. Navy issued a statement on Wednesday claiming that 11 Iranian IRGC boats had closed in on up to six U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf “in dangerous and harassing approaches”.

The IRGC Navy issued a statement on Sunday calling the U.S. claims “fake” and likening them to some “Hollywood” scenarios.

The statement said Iran will respond firmly to any miscalculation of the U.S., advising Washington to avoid any adventurism in the Persian Gulf.

In a tweet on Thursday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reminded Washington that by its presence in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy is 7,000 miles away from home.

He mentioned a 2-year-old tweet of himself that read, “US Navy can’t seem to find its way around our waters. Perhaps because it hasn’t figured out its name: Persian Gulf, as it’s been called for 2,000 yrs longer than U.S. has existed.”

Defense Minister Amir Hatami also said on Friday that the U.S. “illegal” and “aggressive” presence in the Persian Gulf has weakened security in the region.

“It is the United States’ illegal and aggressive presence that weaken security in the Persian Gulf region. They [the U.S.] has come near Iran’s borders from other ends of the world and make unfounded claims,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a parade held to mark the National Army Day.

Hatami added, “The Iranian people are insightful and know who is right. We are in our home and they have come from other ends of the world to cause problems for the regional countries through threats and sanctions.”

‘U.S. seeks to divert public opinion from economic terrorism’

Mousavi also said that the U.S. seeks to divert the public opinion from economic terrorism by extending arms embargo on Iran.

The spokesman made the remarks as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged the United Nations Security Council to extend the international arms embargo on Iran, set to expire in October.

“The United States’ action violates law. If they are worried, we advise them not to sell [weapons] to other countries, especially in the region, which has had and will have negative consequences,” Mousavi said.

‘Europeans’ commitments not limited to INSTEX’

Mousavi also said that INSTEX (the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) is a preliminary step for Europeans to fulfil their obligations and their commitments are not limited to it.

INSTEX has been designed by the European Union to facilitate legitimate trade with Tehran. It was introduced on January 31, 2019, by France, Germany, and Britain, the three European countries party to the nuclear deal.

NA/PA
 

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