Foreign forces sowing insecurity in region: Iran's UN envoy

TEHRAN, Aug. 21 (MNA) – Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations says the presence of foreign forces in the region is sowing insecurity and instability in the Strait of Hormuz, reiterating that the responsibility to ensure the security of the Persian Gulf falls upon its littoral states.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks while addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Middle East peace and security challenges in New York on Tuesday.

The Iranian diplomat slammed the deployment of more than 70,000 US servicemen in the region as one the main reasons behind the insecurity and instability in the Middle East, stressing that Washington has an active military presence in all Persian Gulf states except for Iran.

“The number of foreign military installations in the Middle East has jumped from four in 1991 to 41 in 2018. Nearly all of them belong to the US, which mark the highest concentration of military sites in the world,” he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Takht-Ravanchi referred to the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the 2015 nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as another source of instability in the Middle East.

He said the unbridled flow of American weaponry into this region has “turned it into a powder keg.”

“The sole beneficiary of weapons stockpiling in the region is the defense industry of exporting countries. We should not ignore the US “divide and rule" mechanism, which seeks to sow seeds of permanent discord among regional states. The Iranophobia remarks by American officials are meant to accomplish such an objective.

“They have leveled unfounded accusations against Iran in order to justify their regional policies, and prevent the country from performing its role in the region,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

“While we are not seeking confrontation, we cannot and will not remain indifferent to the violation of our sovereignty. Therefore, in order to secure our borders and interests, we will vigorously exercise our inherent right to self-defense,” the Iranian envoy added.

Takht-Ravanchi highlighted that Tehran will continue to ensure the security of maritime navigation in the Middle East, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz, adding that the United States’ attempts to set up a military coalition in the Persian Gulf to counter what it calls the “Iran threat” will fail.

MNA/IRN83444762

News Code 149107

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