19:33 GMT +312 December 2019
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    IRGC Commander Says Foreign Powers Should Be 'Driven Out' of the Persian Gulf

    © AP Photo / Hasan Shirvani
    Middle East
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    Following a series of attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf, the US announced the creation of the so-called maritime coalition that would ensure the "safety" of shipping in the region. Despite several countries supporting the initiative, Iran has stood starkly against it, calling for regional powers to handle the problem themselves instead.

    Commander of Iran's Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi has called on regional states to oppose the presence of foreign military forces in the Persian Gulf, arguing that they won't do any good for them.

    "Developments in recent years have shown that foreign powers cannot be reliable for regional countries. [We need] an interregional security, not false coalitions. It is time to drive foreign forces out of the region", he said.

    Mousavi further stated that Persian Gulf states can actually handle the security of the region themselves without any external powers.

    Maritime Coalition

    The US announced the creation of a maritime coalition under the pretext of securing shipping routes in the Persian Gulf following attacks on a total of six tankers near the Strait of Hormuz in May and June 2019. Washington blamed Iran for attacking the vessels, but Tehran vehemently denied these claims.

    Washington also invited a number of states to join its coalition, but so far only a few have responded positively, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

    Iran condemned the US plans to further boost its already significant military presence in the Middle East region and argued that Persian Gulf littoral states can handle the security of the shipping routes themselves if they unite their efforts.

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    foreign powers, coalition, Iran, Persian Gulf
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