President Rouhani Warns Tel Aviv to Stay Away from Persian Gulf
Wed Aug 14, 2019
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Tel Aviv is the main source of terrorism and war in the region, warning Israeli officials to avoid plots to deploy in the Persian Gulf on the pretext of membership in the US-led coalition.
In a cabinet meeting today, President Rouhani touched upon the claim by the Israeli regime to join the US’ coalition in the Persian Gulf, saying, “Israelis had better take care of the security of where they are if they can! Although, wherever they had a presence, they brought about nothing but insecurity, slaughter and terror. The main perpetrator of terrorism, war and slaughter in the region is the occupying regime of Israel.”
The president then cautioned regional countries against falling into the trap of these claims.
Rouhani said the US’ calls for forming a new coalition in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman are “superficial” and “impractical”, adding, “No doubt, no matter how much of these calls is put into practice, it will do nothing to help the security in the region.”
Rouhani went on to add, “the Islamic Republic of Iran, alongside other Persian Gulf littoral states, is ready to guarantee the security in this region.”
“Regional countries, through unity and dialogue, can preserve their own security, and the US’ measures and claims won’t benefit them in the least,” Rouhani stressed.
Elsewhere, Rouhani discussed the recent developments regarding the JCPOA, saying “we began reducing commitments to create a balance. At the same time, we are continuing our talks [with other signatories to the agreement.]”
“Under proper conditions, we are always in favor of interacting with the world and holding talks with the other side to reach our goals.”
Rouhani went on to add, “if we fail to achieve results by the end of the second 60-day deadline, we will definitely start the third phase. We will then give another 60 days to reach a correct, balanced and logical solution.”
“We believe in commitment for commitment,” he stressed.
The United States has been trying to build a coalition with a claim to secure maritime navigation in the Persian Gulf after several attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz in recent months. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced last week that his country was part of the US-led mission in the Persian Gulf.
In response, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami warned on Thursday that any new war in the region will be a major threat to Israel, describing the issue as a main source of concern for the US.
"We are now in a full-scale war with the big powers," General Salami said, adding that Washington has no appetite for confrontation against Iran as it knows that "a new war will put the Zionist regime under a full-scale threat".
Back in January 2016, Patrol craft of the IRGC Navy arrested 9 US marine forces in Iranian territorial waters near the Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. In March 2007, the IRGCN detained 15 Royal Navy personnel who had intruded into Iranian territorial waters.
Tensions mounted between Tehran and Washington last May, when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism. The American leader and his hawkish advisers National Security Advisor John Bolton and Pompeo have since been stepping up pressure against Iranians.
The tensions saw a sharp rise on the first anniversary of Washington’s exit from the deal as the US moved to ratchet up pressure on Iran by tightening its oil sanctions and sending military reinforcements, including an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and a battery of Patriot missiles, to the Persian Gulf region. The Pentagon has also announced it was sending 1,000 additional US forces and more military resources to the Middle East.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran hit a new high in June after the US sent a number of military aircraft to the Iranian skies under a tense climate of escalating threats, forcing the IRGC Aerospace Force to shoot down one of the intruding American aircraft.
Iran has stressed that it will not be the initiator of any war, but reserves the right to self-defense and will give a crushing response to any act of aggression by the United States.