Iranian Foreign Minister: US, Allies Turning Gulf Region Into ‘Matchbox Ready to Ignite’

Middle East

The comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stem from a United States’ plan to build an international maritime coalition to patrol the Persian Gulf against a professed threat from Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused the United States and its allies of turning the Persian Gulf region into a “matchbox ready to ignite”, according to Reuters, citing the diplomat’s interview with Al Jazeera television.

The Gulf waterway “is narrow, it will become less safe as foreign (navy) vessels increase their presence in it”, the Qatar-based TV channel cited him as saying.

“The region has become a matchbox ready to ignite because America and its allies are flooding it with weapons”, Zarif said.

Iran’s top diplomat, who has recently been sanctioned by the US, previoulsy said that Washington had failed to create an allied naval mission because “countries that are its friends are too ashamed of being in a coalition with them”.

His interview follows a similar remark by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, who insisted that the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz was the elite unit’s responsibility, and that they did not need the presence of foreigners in the region.

Tangsiri has, likewise, addressed Israel’s reported intention to join a US-proposed naval initiative in the Gulf to ensure security of navigation routes…

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