Tehran slams U.S. military threat as ‘moldy option’

July 3, 2020 - 16:48

TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman has condemned the United States’ threat of a military attack on Iran as a “moldy option” which has been sitting on the table gathering dust for years.

In a statement late on Wednesday, Abbas Mousavi responded to the threatening remarks made by U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook, saying the real threat to regional peace is the U.S.’s military presence.

Hook said on Tuesday that the White House was willing to take military action against Tehran to prevent the Islamic Republic from “developing nuclear weapons”.

“Brian Hook has held consultations about the arms embargo on Iran while his country and a number of its allies are in possession of hundreds of nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, and, at the same time, are not cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international institutions at all, and the Agency (IAEA) is not conducting any inspection of their nuclear facilities either,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman deplores. The U.S. special representative said during a visit to Jerusalem that “the military option is always on the table.”

Mousavi referred to the comments as “groundless and worthless” and denounced the American official’s divisive mission to the region as well as his threats against Iran.

“Alongside the desperate attempts at unfounded justification of the subject of the arms embargo extension, Brian Hook is talking of military option against Iran, a moldy option that has been sitting on the table of delusional U.S. presidents gathering dust for years,” he said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s principled policy in the military sector is absolutely clear and the nature of this program is totally defensive,” Mousavi maintained, according to the Foreign Ministry website.

“The real threat to the region is the destructive and destabilizing presence of the U.S., transforming the region into military bases, preventing progress and development of the region with the aim of creating division, and fomenting fear for the easy sale of products of the military industries of that country (the U.S.),” the spokesman added.

He said as long as U.S. officials talk about the military option against Iran, and delay their withdrawal from the region, the Islamic Republic will spare no efforts to strengthen its military power, and considers this as its inalienable right to defend the national interests of Iranians.

“Brian Hook has held consultations about the arms embargo on Iran while his country and a number of its allies are in possession of hundreds of nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, and, at the same time, are not cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international institutions at all, and the Agency (IAEA) is not conducting any inspection of their nuclear facilities either,” he deplored.

“What is worse is that the U.S. has practically turned the region into a powder keg with the mass sale of advanced arms and equipment to these countries, as much of these weapons are still being employed against the oppressed and defenseless people of Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, Syria and other regional nations,” the spokesman stated.

Mousavi concluded that ensuring the security of the region in the hands of regional countries is the principled and invariable policy of the Islamic Republic.

The United States has been seeking support for its demand of extending a 13-year UN weapons embargo on Iran. However, Russia and China, which are both members of the UN Security Council, oppose the embargo.

The UN arms embargo is due to expire in October under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The U.S. abandoned the JCPOA on May 8, 2018, and pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran to force it to negotiate a new deal but to no avail.

Hook started a West Asia tour a few days ago to discuss Iran with U.S. allies, with stops in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Israel.

In his visit to Riyadh on Monday, Hook claimed that lifting the arms embargo on the country will trigger an arms race in West Asia.

“This is not an outcome that the UN Security Council can accept. The council's mandate is clear: to maintain international peace and security,” he claimed.

The U.S. diplomat made similar remarks in Bahrain and the UAE.

In response, Iran’s Mousavi strongly criticized the Arab countries for supporting Washington’s anti-Iran stance, saying stability and security will not be established in the region through obeying the orders of the United States.

“The only way to create stability and security in the region is changing hostile behaviors and moving toward regional cooperation,” he said on Tuesday.

MH/PA

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