Iran Tells U.S. ‘Stay Away’: Seeks Lead in Persian Gulf Security

President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the Iranian Parliament in the capital Tehran, on August 28, 2018. - It was the first time Rouhani had been summoned by parliament in his five years in power, with MPs demanding answers on unemployment, rising prices and the collapsing value of the rial, which …
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty

The presence of foreign naval and land forces creates “insecurity” in the Gulf and they should “stay away”, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday, issuing his warning after the U.S. ordered the deployment of more troops to the troubled region.

“Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” Rouhani said in a televised speech at an annual military parade, adding Iran would present to the UN a regional cooperation plan for peace.

Rouhani called on the foreign powers in the Persian Gulf region to “stay away”.

“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race,” he said.

“Your presence has always brought pain and misery for the region. The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be for our region.”

Rouhani said Iran will present a plan for securing the Gulf with the help of other countries in the region to the United Nations in the coming days.

He said Iran extends its “hand of friendship and brotherhood” toward regional nations for overseeing security in the Persian Gulf and its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz, where one-fifth of global oil exports passes.

Along with boosting troop and equipment levels in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. is leading a maritime coalition, which includes the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Britain and Australia, to secure the area’s waterways and vital oil trade routes.

The Tehran military parade marked the 39th anniversary of the eight-year war with Iraq that began when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980.

AFP contributed to this report

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