U.S. military presence endangers regional security, Iran says

May 4, 2020 - 19:18

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry reiterated on Monday that the presence of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf endangers regional security and also disrupts shipping in the strategic waterway.

“We do not recognize the United States’ presence, especially military presence, in the Persian Gulf. The United States have disrupted legal patrolling of our armed forces and we have given necessary warnings,” he said in a press conference.

He noted that the U.S. must avoid getting close to Iran’s borders.

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”.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy issued a statement on April 19 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.

Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, has said that Iran had warned the U.S. forces to leave its theater.

“They entered our area while it was announced to them that we wanted to conduct practice in this area. They seek to undermine security by taking such actions. So, we ordered them to leave the area,” he told Tasnim in an interview published on Friday.

He noted that the Iranian forces closely watch all the U.S. moves in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the United States must know that the waterway in the region is the Persian Gulf and not the New York or Washington Gulf.

“They must understand the situation by the name of the place and the people who have protected it for thousands of years and stop hatching plots against the Iranian people,” Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting as Iran marked the Persian Gulf Day.

He said, “The United States has witnessed the Iranian people’s success in all areas and also in protecting the Persian Gulf waterway. Our soldiers in armed forces, the Guards [the IRGC], Basij, Army and police forces have always protected and will protect the Persian Gulf.”

In a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27, Rouhani said that the U.S. interfering behavior can endanger security and stability in the Persian Gulf.

“Security in the region and waterways is important to Iran. However, unfortunately, the United States’ dangerous behavior disrupts security and stability in the Persian Gulf region,” Rouhani said.

NA/PA

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