“They should know that they cannot create insecurity [here],” the top diplomat stated while making a speech at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) on Thursday, reminding that Iran’s Persian Gulf coastline stretches as far as 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers), making it the longest among the body of water’s littoral states.
The country also enjoys control over half of the expanse of the Strait of Hormuz, Iran’s foreign minister said, adding that provision of security for the lifeline shipping route is impossible without participation of the Islamic Republic.
‘Only regional states can maintain Persian Gulf security’The IRGC’s chief commander says no coalition of countries other than the Persian Gulf’s own littoral states can be trusted with providing the region’s security.
The United States has announced plans to form a coalition to supposedly protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz following a series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the strait and the Sea of Oman.
Washington has accused Iran of having a hand in those attacks, a claim Tehran has strongly rejected. Tehran has warned that such acts of sabotage may be part of a general ploy to target Iran amid increasing regional tensions.
The US has asked its allies to join the coalition, a call which has not been warmly received by several countries, including Germany, Japan and Spain, over apparent fears that such a mission could further ratchet up tensions with Iran.
“Should any one favor security in the Persian Gulf, it must seek security for all [of its coastal countries],” Zarif said, expressing the Islamic Republic’s readiness for interaction with all those who are interested in collective action aimed at ensuring regional security.
The foreign minister said Iran has proven its disinclination towards escalating tensions, citing the country’s bilateral and multilateral negotiations with the previous US administration that resulted in the conclusion of a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and major world powers, which if officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
‘US on the wrong side, not Iran’
“But the US chose to exit the accord and pursued the policy of maximum pressure and economic warfare against Iran,” Iran’s foreign minister said, referring to the current US administration’s undertakings. “It was them who started the war against us. We did not take any action against them,” he added.
Zarif, meanwhile, noted how American authorities had thought that Iran would “fall apart” within seven days of their adopting of the approach.
The country, however, withstood the pressure as it has against all aggressors, including Genghis Khan and Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein. “We have been standing tall there for the past 7,000 years,” Zarif said.