In a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that regional countries, and not foreign forces, are responsible for security in the Persian Gulf region.
“Foreign forces only cause insecurity in the region,” Zarif said as the United States called on European and Asian countries to join a Washington-led maritime force to secure safe shipping in the Strait of Hormuz which connects the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman. So far, only Britain and Israel have responded positively to the US call.
Zarif said, “Tehran attaches great importance to consultations on regional developments”. Qatari foreign minister highlighted the two countries’ role in protecting regional peace and called for expansion of cooperation in promoting dialogue to settle problems in the region.
Earlier, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a press conference on July 31 that his country “would not participate in the mission the United States plans to form.”A German government spokeswoman also said on August 5 that Chancellor Angela Merkel and the whole German government do not see Germany taking part in a US-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz.
“The chancellor does not see a participation in a US-led mission in the current situation and at the current time – everyone in the German government agrees on that,” a government spokeswoman told a news conference, according to Reuters.
Madrid and Tokyo have also rejected an official request from Washington to participate in the naval coalition.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial said on August 1, Madrid had received an official request from the United States to participate in these forces. However, the same sources said that “the Spanish government has currently no intention to participate in joint US-led forces,” Middle East Monitor reported.
Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun also reported that Tokyo won’t send ships to join the US-led maritime force.
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, spokesman for the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said that the US coalition would only foment insecurity in the region.In phone conversations last week, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami discussed the security situation in the Persian Gulf region with Kuwaiti, Qatari and Omani defense ministers, warning about formation of military coalition in the Persian Gulf under the US leadership.
“Military coalition which the United States seeks to form under the pretext of the shipping security will just cause insecurity in the region,” said General Hatami.
He added, “We consider ourselves committed to maintain security in the region, especially in the Persian Gulf region. The Islamic Republic of Iran has spared no effort in maintaining security for navigation in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman. We believe that regional security must be maintained by the countries in the region.”
He noted that the regional countries should enter constructive talks in this respect. The defense chief blamed the US as the main culprit behind insecurity in the region. Pointing to Israel’s decision to join a US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf region, Hatami said, “Such probable action will be very provocative and can cause catastrophic consequences for the region.”
Mehran Kamrava, professor and director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, has predicted that US-led coalition to fail.
“This latest attempt, to create a new military coalition, appears to be part of yet another attempt by the United States — uncoordinated and without a long-term strategy — to maintain a military presence in the Persian Gulf and to share the costs of doing so. It does not appear to be heading for any meaningful success,” Kamrava told the Fars news agency in an interview published on August 12.