The statement comes after Iran downed a US surveillance drone, stating it had violated the country’s airspace. The US Central Command, however, claimed that the aircraft was shot down while operating over international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated on Wednesday that if another American drone crossed the borders of the Islamic Republic, it will also be downed.
He also stressed that Tehran is not seeking an escalation of tensions, but will maintain order in the region.
“We will not allow anyone to bring disorder to the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, but anyway we do not seek escalation and military confrontation”, Rouhani said, as quoted on his official website.
The Iranian president underscored that the Strait of Hormuz was not a platform for “playing with international regulations”. He also praised the recent Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ seizure of the UK oil tanker Stena Impero as a professional operation.
The president said that Tehran is ready for negotiations, but not for surrender.
“As long as I have the responsibility for the executive duties of the country, we are completely ready for just, legal, and honest negotiations to solve the problems”, Rouhani said, according to his official website. “But at the same time, we are not ready to sit at the table of surrender under the name of negotiations”.
The initial straining of ties between the two countries began when the UK helped to detain an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar, claiming it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.
Two weeks after the incident, Tehran detained the UK-flagged Stena Impero and its crew in the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly flouting international maritime rules. According to the Islamic Republic, the crew is safe and sound and the tanker is docked in port.