May 29, 2023

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Iran disputes U.S. criticism about maritime security

TEHRAN- The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday denounced as unfounded claims by American authorities concerning Iran’s naval activities in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani was reacting to recent charges by White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

After Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy seized two invading Western oil tankers in the country’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz in recent weeks, Kirby said on May 13 that the U.S. “will work to bolster its defensive posture in the Persian Gulf.”

Kirby resorted to the oft-used catchphrase that Washington will not let regional or foreign forces to endanger freedom of navigation via regional waterways.

In response to Kirby’s comments, Kanaani stated that Iran has been the most successful country in guaranteeing peaceful maritime travel in the Persian Gulf as well as other regional and international waterways, and has always guaranteed secure passage of ships and other vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.

He went on to continue, “The recent measures taken with regard to the two seized ships were due to their violations and taken through the court verdict. The goal was to prevent behaviors and moves that are against international navigation regulations.”

The official said, “While U.S. interfering and destructive policies over long decades have fomented and exacerbated instability and insecurity in the Persian Gulf region, the United States continues to accuse Iran.”

“The new accusations leveled against Iran are merely excuses,” Kanaani highlighted, adding, “They are intended to justify the continuation and further strengthening of their meddling presence in the region.”

The spokesman noted, “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the continued presence of foreign military forces in the Persian Gulf waters as a threat against security of marine traffic… and believes that regional countries are capable of safeguarding peace and security of navigation without any need to the presence of foreigners.”

Kanaani further stated that “contrary to what American officials claim, the U.S. government jeopardizes international trade and security of navigation by using illegal tactics and intercepting certain Iranian oil tankers in international waters. Then it blames Iran outrageously.”

Iran, according to Kanaani, is in charge of ensuring the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

He continued, “The presence and destabilizing measures of American forces in the Persian Gulf double Iran’s responsibility to guarantee security of the region and the Strait of Hormuz and to deal with all lawbreakers.”

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