Iran summons Swiss envoy over Trump’s provocative statement

April 24, 2020 - 17:3

TEHRAN - Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the Swiss ambassador to protest President Donald Trump’s provocative statement and the U.S. Navy’s acts of harassment in the Persian Gulf.

Switzerland’s embassy in Tehran represents the United States interest section in Iran.

“The Swiss envoy to Tehran, as representative of the United States’ interests, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in this respect. Iran’s strong protest over the country’s presence and illegal and destabilizing actions in northern parts of the Persian Gulf and Iran’s coasts was conveyed in a note,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi stated.

Iran has also warned that it is essential for all sides to observe international law of shipping, Mousavi said.

He added Iran has warned that it will give a proper response to any threat and illegal action.

U.S. Navy issued a statement on April 15 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”.

Following the statement, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he had told the Navy to “shoot down and destroy” Iranian gunboats that “harass” U.S. ships.

Mousavi said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns threatening and provocative remarks by the President of the United States and advised Mr. Trump to use its military fleet in helping contain the coronavirus inside the United States, which has turned into the most contaminated spot in the world, instead of seeking adventurism.”

In a video press conference on Monday, Mousavi said that foreign forces’ presence in the region is the source of insecurity, instability, and tension.

“We consider the 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,” the spokesman pointed out.

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 a warning.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy issued a statement on Sunday calling the U.S. claims “fake”, 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 April 16, 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.

NA/PA
 

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