Outsiders source of insecurity in Persian Gulf, Iran hits back at NATO
Iran Press TV
Wed Oct 2, 2019 05:49PM
Iran has warned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that outsiders only cause insecurity in the Persian Gulf, after the head of the Western military alliance described the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile and nuclear energy programs as the main destabilizing factors in the region.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns such meddlesome remarks about the internal affairs of the Persian Gulf region and its countries by foreign powers and security organizations," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters Wednesday.
"Iran believes any meddling by outsiders in the security orders of the region is in itself a contributing factor to tensions in the region," he added.
Last week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Iran of "proliferating of weapons of mass destruction" and "destabilizing" behavior.
The statement came as the NATO chief tried during a speech at the Columbia University to convince the member states to increase military spending, a key source of tension between the alliance and the administration of US President Donald Trump.
Trump has warned that he would pull out of the alliance should the members fail to commit at least two percent of their GDP to military affairs.
Mousavi said Wednesday that Iran was entitled to "conventional" military deterrents.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran, like any independent country in the world, preserves the right to have conventional defense programs," he said.
"In this regard, Iran's missile program is defensive and deterrent in nature, and baseless expressions of concern won't affect our policy in maintaining and advancing our missile defense program," the Iranian official added.
He advised the NATO chief to, instead of interfering in others' regional affairs, look into the "destructive effects" of NATO's military interventionism in the Middle East.
"NATO's actions have caused nothing but civilian death, strengthened terrorism, increased drug production, destruction and more insecurity," he said. "Even now we are witnessing the destructive outcomes in the form of insecurity and instability in some countries of the region."
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