TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Iranian foreign minister slammed US efforts to create an international maritime patrol force in the Persian Gulf, stressing "uninvited" US-led forces cannot bring security for the region.
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"If countries from outside this region want to come to this region to disturb our security, to create military alliances against Iran, to create coalitions expecting Iran not to benefit from the fact that it is the coastal state here, then they are making a very serious miscalculation," Zarif told NBC News on August 17 in an interview in Tehran.
The complete footage was published by the network on Tuesday.
He warned against any military aggression against Iran, saying, "We have taught good lessons to those who have invaded us."
The top diplomat said Iran has been part of the region for 7,000 years, adding, "It is the United States that is uninvited" here.
"I do not think that the United States or any other foreign military presence in this region has ever brought security for anybody," he stated.
"It is a tiny body of water, which is extremely overcrowded, and the last time that we had such a crowd of naval vessels in this region, we had the downing of a civilian airliner," Zarif said in reference to a 1988 incident when a US missile cruiser shot a Dubai-headed Iranian passenger plane killing all the 290 people on board, including 66 children.
In late July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Japan, Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, Australia and other nations to join the so-called maritime force to guard oil tankers sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.
In August, Germany and Japan said they would not participate in the naval mission.
Washington has lately adopted a quasi-warlike posture against Tehran, and intensified its provocative military moves in the Middle East, among them the June 20 incursion of advanced US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk into Iranian airspace over territorial waters off the coastal province of Hormozgan.
The UK has joined the US in fueling tensions with Iran by seizing an Iranian-owned supertanker in the Strait of Gibraltar on July 4 in an apparent act of "maritime piracy."