Iran Warns ‘Foreigners’ to Stay Out of Persian Gulf
© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiIn this July 2, 2012 file photo, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboat moves in the Persian Gulf while an oil tanker is seen in background
© AP Photo / Vahid Salemi
The Islamic Republic has spent years pushing regional security arrangements for the sensitive Persian Gulf region – through which approximately 30 percent of the oil bound for destinations around the globe flows. Tehran has expressed readiness to work not only with allies but long-time regional rivals like Saudi Arabia as well to make this happen.
The presence of non-Persian Gulf-adjacent nations is a threat to regional security, and the region has the means to independently assure peace and stability stability, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri has said.
“Intervention of foreigners and their military presence in the Persian Gulf does not bring stability and security. Regional countries can ensure stability and security in the region through political cooperation and economic convergence,” Bagheri said, speaking to a senior delegation of Qatari officials in Tehran on Tuesday.
Emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation, the Iranian diplomat noted that “if we hesitate to pay the price of regional interaction and convergence, the costs of disagreement and divergence will undoubtedly be imposed on everyone,” he said.
Bagheri suggested that foreign powers seek to take advantage of regional divisions to “legitimize their hegemonic policies,” and that this shouldn’t be allowed to happen. The diplomat did not mention specifically which country or countries he was talking about.
The deputy foreign minister also stressed the “strategic” nature of Iran’s regional interaction and cooperation policies, saying it was not a mere “temporary tactic” but a “fundamental strategy” in Tehran’s foreign policy.
Qatari Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Bagheri that Doha believes in strengthening bilateral cooperation with Tehran in the interests of promoting regional stability, and pointed to the upcoming visit by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Tehran on Thursday to meet with President Ebrahim Raisi to discuss these and other issues.
Alongside Oman and Kuwait, Qatar is one of three Gulf States with which Iran enjoys relatively warm relations. President Raisi visited Doha in February, with the two countries signing 14 agreements ranging from trade, investment and diplomatic cooperation to culture, tourism, media and sport.
The Gulf-adjacent states are able to enjoy friendly ties notwithstanding Qatar’s strategic alliance with the United States, and the massive US Al-Udeid Air Base, which serves as the forward headquarters of the US Central Command, on Qatari territory.
Iran has repeatedly proposed regional partnerships as a means to ensuring regional security. In 2019, then-President Hassan Rouhani proposed a ‘Hormuz Peace Endevour (HOPE) at the United Nations General Assembly, encouraging all Persian Gulf-adjacent nations to join.
21 April, 13:17 GMT