Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran accused the US of turning the Persian Gulf into a “tinderbox”

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The situation in the Persian Gulf escalated through the fault of the United States and its allies, who are actively purchasing weapons. This statement was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“If we talk about the threats emanating from the region, they come from the United States and its allies, which are spreading weapons in the region, turning it into a tinder box ready to explode,” Zarif said.

In 2018, the United States sold $ 50 billion worth of weapons to the region, the Iranian Foreign Minister continued. “Some countries in the region, where the entire population is less than one-third of the Iranian population, spend $ 87 billion on military purchases. For comparison, Iran spent $ 16 billion last year on all of its military goals,” Zarif said.

As an example, he cited the UAE’s military budgets ($ 22 billion for military purposes) and Saudi Arabia ($ 87 billion).

The Persian Gulf is very narrow and will only become an even more dangerous place due to the increase in the number of foreign warships, the Iranian minister said.

Zarif’s comments came after Washington and London announced that they were working on a military coalition to protect commercial traffic in the Persian Gulf.

In mid-June, explosions and fires occurred on two tankers of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. The United States blamed the incident on Iran, supported by the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. Tehran denies any involvement in the incidents. After that, several foreign tankers were detained by Iran. Two of them – the British-flagged Stena Imperio and another tanker from Iraq – are accused of fuel smuggling.

After the tanker incidents, the United Kingdom invited European countries to create a military coalition in the Persian Gulf to protect transport ships. Later, London announced plans to create a coalition in public. At the end of July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also announced similar intentions. “Nations from all over the world will participate in this. This is a deterrent, ”he said.

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