Iranian President Slams US Naval Mission Plans, Says Gulf States Can Protect Region’s Security

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated that the White House had failed to create an allied naval coalition against Tehran in the Persian Gulf because countries that are Washington’s “friends are too ashamed of being in a coalition with” the US.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reiterated his rejection of US plans to create a maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf, saying that Gulf states are able to protect regional security all by themselves.

“There is no need to attract foreign forces in order to maintain security in the Gulf”, Rouhani pointed out.

He added that Gulf countries should remain committed to “dialogue and unity” to ensure regional security and that US actions in the area will be of no use to these nations.

The statement came after UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace announced that London would join a US-led maritime mission which was earlier rejected by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

“Today, the United States is alone in the world and cannot create a coalition [in the Gulf]. Countries that are its friends are too ashamed of being in a coalition with them”, he pointed out.

Zarif accused the US of being accountable for Gulf tensions which caused “misery” and stressed that it is Iran that is responsible for the region’s safety and security.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, for his part, reaffirmed his country’s unwillingness to join a US-led maritime mission in the Gulf, emphasising that Berlin “wants a European mission”.

The statement followed remarks by Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) deputy commander, that a US military maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf will “definitely go to ruin and fail to materialise”, just like the previous ones did.

Vice Admiral Michael Gilday, Director of the Joint Staff, and nominee to become the Navy’s top admiral, for his part, insisted that the US should let its allies do most of the work of the “international maritime security framework” that Washington is trying to set up in the Gulf.

However, the UK currently remains the US’ only ally to join the mission which is still considered by Japan, Belgium and Norway.