Iran monitoring U.S. moves, but will never start a war: Rouhani

April 25, 2020 - 17:40

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iran is monitoring the United States’ moves in the region, however, it will never start a war in the region.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran monitors the United States’ moves activity and accurately, however, it will never start a conflict and tension in the region,” he told Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a phone conversation.

The Qatari Emir highlighted the need that all countries make efforts to prevent tension in the region.

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.

“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 or 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 April 22 that he had told the Navy to “shoot down and destroy” Iranian gunboats that “harass” U.S. ships.

Making such open military threats as the world, including the U.S. and Iran, are caught in the struggle against the coronavirus pandemic is surprising.

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.”

Foreign Minister Zarif also reacted to Trump’s military threats, suggesting that it is better that Trump pay attention to the needs of U.S. military personnel that over 5000 of them are suffering from the Covid-19 rather than “engage in threats cheered on by Saddam's terrorists”.

Writing on his Twitter account, Zarif also said, “U.S. forces have no business 7,000 miles away from home, provoking our sailors off our OWN Persian Gulf shores.”

NA/PA

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