Iran considers security in the Gulf as vital and does not intend to attack anybody, Secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told RT, accusing the US of sowing discord in the region.
Shamkhani told RT’s Salam Musafir on a visit to Moscow that his country aims to ease tensions with all of its neighbors, including Arab and non-Arab countries, since they share a common history and culture. He said that this provides a basis for exploring a comprehensive non-aggression treaty that might also include Iraq.
“There is much evidence of brotherly relations between the regional powers. This might have paved the way for an agreement or a treaty [on non-aggression],” said the top official.
However, full-fledged reconciliation between Tehran and Baghdad is being impeded by the US, which deliberately drives a wedge between regional powers, many of which are US allies hosting its military installations.
“Of course, external forces that have military bases in the countries of the region do not allow this. These forces won’t allow these countries to act in accordance with their own will,” said Shamkhani.
Contrary to Washington’s rhetoric that portrays Iran as the menace that warrants a massive US military build-up in the Middle East, he argued that it is the US that poses the biggest threat to regional stability by fomenting tensions in the Gulf. Citing the “Iranian threat,” the US has deployed a carrier strike group, long-range strategic B-52 bombers, fighter jets, a Patriot missile battery, and an additional 2,500 troops to the area since May.
“Their presence in the Gulf is the main source of tension in the region. It is necessary to defuse these tensions for the regional powers to be able to help and trust each other while not allowing other parties to interfere with their internal affairs,” Shamkhani said.
The official argued that the Islamic Republic has fallen victim to a rampant disinformation campaign waged in the interests of Tel Aviv.
“Everything that is said about us are unsubstantiated statements and lies, disseminated in the interests of one state, located in the region. I’m talking about Israel, that has occupied and continues to retain Islamic territories.”
Shamkhani insists that Iran, which has long been demonized in the Israeli and Western media, is not threatening anybody, “either in the Persian Gulf, or our northern neighbors.”
We do not have any intention or desire to seize anyone’s territories. Our only goal is to ensure wellbeing of the peoples in the region and to foster cooperation between them
Speaking about saber-rattling coming from the US, particularly from US President Donald Trump and his war-hawk advisers, Shamkhani said that Teheran does not warmongering by the US administration at face value, given the US commander-in-chief’s penchant for contradicting himself in every other statement.
“We don’t take [Trump’s] threats and contradictory statements seriously, but, in the end, it is necessary to not forget that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan,” the official said, noting that the Iran is a “big state” that is able to retaliate against any invader.