Iran issues warning on US provocative presence in Persian Gulf

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TEHRAN- Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday issued a warning against the “provocative” escalation of American military presence in the Persian Gulf, saying that it is taking place just when regional nations are mending fences.

Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, stated that instability in the Persian Gulf region serves the interests of littoral states.

Talking to reporters at a weekly press conference, Kanaani stressed that “the security of the region, especially that of the Persian Gulf waterway, must be ensured within the region itself by the Persian Gulf states. It is a general principle.”

The United States has sent new fighter jets and destroyers to the Persian Gulf, especially at a time that Iran and Arab countries on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf are taking steps to open a new chapter in ties.

“Coinciding with growing convergence among regional countries, we hear claims made by the U.S. government and witness an increase of its military forces, a measure that is provocative. However, we are optimistic that cooperation between the countries of the region will advance faster,” Kanaani added.

He also reiterated how very important the Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz are to Iran’s security, stressing that the Iranian Navy will respond to any illegal activity in the area “professionally and legally”.

“Iran will never tolerate infringement on its rights”

The spokesperson also addressed allegations that a container of Iranian crude oil that the U.S. had confiscated was unloading off the Texas coast.

“I read the story in the media and I have no confirmed information. There is a general principle that says the era of hit-and-run is over. Iran will not stand idly by in relation to any violation of the nation’s rights and will cut the hands of the aggressors,” he remarked.

Kanaani also said that “acts of trespassing on tankers carrying Iranian oil are a clear example of piracy.”

“U.S. forced to recognize Iran’s rights”

In response to a recent move according to which the U.S. agreed to release Iranian funds blocked in South Korea, Kanaani also stated that Washington was forced to acknowledge Iran’s rights.

“The release of Iran’s assets comes at a time when the U.S. tries to block them by imposing unilateral sanctions. However, we forced the United States to pay attention to Iran’s rights through our good diplomatic and legal efforts,” he added. 

After former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reinstituted economic sanctions on Tehran, South Korea blocked $6 billion of Iranian oil revenues. They resisted releasing them under pressure from the U.S.

He averred that a maximum framework of two months has been specified for the process, stating that Iran is working hard to get its assets released from Iraq.

Part of the process has been completed, he added.

“Iran, U.S. presidents will not meet in NY”

Also, he ruled out the possibility of any meeting between the Iranian and U.S. presidents on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting in New York, saying, “Such a plan is not on the agenda.”

He emphasized that “indirect negotiations” between Iran and the U.S. are taking place in relation to a number of specific matters, such as the exchange of prisoners and the release of Iran’s foreign assets.

“Sweden, Denmark putting themselves against Muslim nations”

Given that the Swedish and Danish chargés d’affaires were summoned to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs due to repeated insults to the holy Quran in their respective countries, Kanaani said that Iran has announced that it will not accept a new ambassador from Sweden in protest to the desecration and the Swedish government’s lack of serious action.

The spokesman said that these nations cannot claim to be peace-seekers while opposing the peace-seeking stance of religions. 

Although they have informed the Iranian authorities that they are investigating the matter, Iran will not take their words as a firm until it is certain that the governments have taken deterrent measures, Kanaani added.

The Quran is the deepest and most beautiful expression, thus desecrating it under the guise of freedom of speech is by no means appropriate, the spokesperson said. 

“Burning the Quran under the banner of free speech is also not justified in the slightest,” Kanaani added. 

“Iran is of the opinion that, with enough will, such insults can be stopped, even within the confines of the law, and that these nations are pitting themselves against Muslim nations,” he said.
culled from Tehran Times

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