Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said on Friday that possible Israeli presence in a US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf is a clear threat against Iran’s national security, stressing that Tehran reserves the right to counter the move.
The Iranian official said, “Within the framework of the country’s deterrence and defensive policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to counter this threat and defend its territory,” according to Foreign Ministry’s official website.
His remarks came after Israeli media reported that Tel Aviv will join what the US claims an effort to boost security of navigation in the Persian Gulf.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday that the Israeli regime is part of the US-led coalition to “protect the security of the Persian Gulf,” Ynet reported.
The presence is a crisis-provoking and destabilizing element in the Persian Gulf, Mousavi said, adding, “The US regime and the illegitimate Zionist regime are responsible for all the consequences of this dangerous move.”
Referring to US efforts to form a coalition against Iran in the Persian Gulf, Mousavi said the Islamic Republic believes the coalition is tension-provoking in nature.
“Iran believes the presence of ultra-regional forces in the Persian Gulf under any name and title will not only fail to help reinforce the region’s security, but will further prepare the ground for tension and crisis in the sensitive Persian Gulf region,” he added.
He said Iran is opposed to the formation of such coalitions and considers it as a tension-creating and deceitful move.
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami also in separate phone conversations with his Kuwaiti, Qatari, and Omani counterparts said that the coalition will foment insecurity in the region.
Hatami said that regional security could only be provided by regional countries, noting that foreign presence here would have insecurity and instability as its only concomitants.
The US has so far failed to convince its allies to join the coalition amid its attempts to trouble Iran’s foreign oil sales as part of its sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently said that Washington had failed to set up a unified maritime mission in the Persian Gulf because it’s “alone in the world” and “countries that are its friends are too ashamed of being in a coalition” with the US.
On June 30, the US officially asked Germany to participate – alongside Britain and France – in the coalition, a request that was declined by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas a day later. The UK, however, later accepted to join the coalition.
“At the moment, the Britons would rather join an American mission. We won’t do it”, Maas said earlier this week, after previously stressing that “there can be no military solution” to the standoff in the region.
Germany is, however, not Washington’s only European ally to have been unwilling to be part of its naval force. France has also been reluctant to join the mission.
In Asia, Japan has also refused to join the coalition.
Japan’s government sources said on Thursday that Tokyo may send vessels to patrol off Yemen rather than joining the US-led coalition, according to japantoday.com.
The administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is reluctant to send the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Strait of Hormuz, a key sea lane through which around a fifth of the world’s oil passes, out of concern that doing so could hurt Tokyo’s friendly ties with Tehran.
But it is under mounting pressure from Washington to participate in the US effort with Pentagon chief Mark Esper earlier this week urging Japan to “strongly consider” it, the Japanese media said.
Despite the US efforts against Iran, one of the Washington’s closest allies in the Persian Gulf region is also trying to restore ties with Iran.
Recently, a delegation from the United Arab Emirates visited Tehran and signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance maritime border security cooperation.
Tensions have been running high between the US and Iran since Washington’s decision in May last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence as well.
Tensions between the two nations deteriorated after Iran shot down a US surveillance drone on June 20 following its violation of Iranian airspace.
Several oil tankers were also targeted near the Persian Gulf last month, with Washington and its ally Saudi Arabia quickly blaming Iran for the suspicious attacks.
Tehran has rejected the accusations of its involvement as baseless, saying the incidents in the Sea of Oman appear to be false flags meant to frame the Islamic Republic.
The United States has engaged in significant regional military buildup, including by sending an aircraft carrier, a bomber task force, an assault ship, and around 1,500 additional forces to the Middle East.
Tehran has time and again said that it does not seek military confrontations with the United States, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.
Press TV and IRNA contributed to this story.
Source : Iran Daily