TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed baseless remarks by American officials against Iran about the safety of maritime navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
Nasser Kanaani issued a statement on Monday in response to recent allegations by John Kirby, who currently serves as the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House.
On May 13, Kirby said the US “will work to bolster” its “defensive posture” in the Persian Gulf after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy seized two invading foreign oil tankers in the country’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz in recent weeks.
Kirby used the oft-repeated refrain that Washington will not allow foreign or regional powers to jeopardize freedom of navigation through regional waterways.
Responding to Kirby’s remarks, Kanaani said Iran has played the most effective role in ensuring safe naval traffic in the Persian Gulf as well as other regional and international waters, and “has always guaranteed secure passage of ships and other vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.”
“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,” he added, Press TV reported.
The spokesman added that the United States “continues to accuse Iran while its interfering and destructive policies throughout long decades have fomented and exacerbated instability and insecurity in the Persian Gulf region.”
“The new accusations leveled against Iran are mere excuses, which are aimed at justifying the continuation and further bolstering of (the US’) meddlesome presence in the region,” Kanaani said.
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 in this body of water and believes that regional countries are capable of safeguarding peace and security of navigation without (any need to) the presence of foreigners.”
“Contrary to what American officials allege, the US government endangers security of navigation and international trade by resorting to measures that violate the law of the sea and seizing some Iranian oil shipments in the high seas. It then outrageously accuses Iran,” he added.
Kanaani said Iran considers itself responsible for maintaining security of the Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz, adding, “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.”