Rouhani scoffs at prospect of Israel presence in Persian Gulf
Iran Press TV
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:04AM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani scoffs at an Israeli plan to join a US-led maritime "security" coalition in the Persian Gulf region, saying the regime is not even capable of securing the areas it has occupied.
The Israelis "should try providing security where they are if they are really capable of doing that," Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The Iranian president called the Tel Aviv regime the main element behind terrorism, warfare, and bloodletting in the region and said, "Wherever they established a presence, they brought about bloodshed and terror."
"No one should be baited by these claims and statements [about Israel's potential presence in the Persian Gulf] because it is clear to all how it would end," the president noted.
The United States has announced plans to form a coalition to supposedly protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from what it calls an Iranian threat following a series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz 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 sabotage operations may be part of a general ploy to target Iran amid increasing regional tensions.
The US has asked its allies, including Germany, Japan, France, Britain and Israel, to join the coalition.
The call has, however, not been warmly received, with Israel and Britain becoming the only parties which have said flat out that they would join the alliance.
Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said on August 7 that the regime would be part of such a US-led coalition to "protect the security of the Persian Gulf." Katz claimed that Israel was determined to stop "Iranian entrenchment" in the Middle East region and strengthen Tel Aviv's relationship with Persian Gulf countries.
A day afterwards, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran considered such possible Israeli presence in the region to be a clear threat to its national security, and reserved the right to counter it.
Rouhani likewise denounced Tel Aviv's "hollow statements" about a role in "providing security" in the region.
He described all the slogans being advertized about the creation of a new naval coalition in the region as "ostentatious and impracticable."
The Iranian chief executive said the US and others are after sowing the seeds of discord among regional Muslim countries and emptying their coffers.
"The Persian Gulf littoral states are capable of safeguarding the region's security if they stand together," he added.
Rouhani said regional countries have historically had and will continue to enjoy brotherly relations, stressing that any division and discord will only benefit their enemies.
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