Iranian Navy chief warns extra-regional forces to leave region or face humiliating retreat

August 16, 2019 - 17:31

TEHRAN – Iranian Navy Chief Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi has warned the extra regional forces to immediately leave the Persian Gulf region or face a humiliating retreat.

“The enemies must leave the region as soon as possible, otherwise, they would experience a humiliating retreat,” Khanzadi said on Wednesday, according to Tasnim.

He also warned the U.S., Britain, the Zionist regime and their accomplices in the region that the era of showing off in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman is over.

The commander said foreign governments are wasting their resources and risking the lives of their servicemen by deploying forces to a region thousands of miles away from their maritime border.

“A maritime Islamic resistance front is being shaped and developed. The era of plundering the region’s assets is over, and the enemies must leave the region as soon as possible,” he asserted.

Khanzadi’s comments came amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S., especially after the White House announced plans to create a new security initiative in the Persian Gulf by forming a coalition for escorting commercial ships.

However, Washington’s call to form the coalition has fallen on deaf ears. So far, only Britain and Israel have agreed to join the coalition.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a press conference on July 31 that his country “would not participate in the mission the United States plans to form.”

Madrid and Tokyo have also rejected an official request from Washington to participate in the naval coalition.

In remarks on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani described Israel’s decision to join the U.S.-led coalition in the Persian Gulf as “hollow words”.

“There is clear response to such claims. Israelis [should] protect their own security if they can. They have caused insecurity, carnage and terrorism wherever they have gone. The main factor behind war and carnage in the region is the Zionists and the occupant regime of Israel,” he noted.

On August 8, Defense Minister Amir Hatami also reacted to development, saying, “Such a move could be very provocative, and can have catastrophic implications for the region.”

In an interview with Al-Jazeera on Monday, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, “We believe that the best the U.S. can do for the protection of maritime navigation is to just leave people alone; don’t interfere.”

Zarif added, “What we have called for, and repeat, is that our neighbors – all of us – belong to this region, we cannot leave this region. Others will leave this region; others will not secure us; others will not provide us with the security umbrella that we need. We can provide each other with that security umbrella. We extend our hand, and our hand remains extended, to all our neighbors.”