US Should Account for Persian Gulf Presence

US Should Account for Persian Gulf PresenceUS Should Account for Persian Gulf Presence

A lawmaker said it is the US that should account for its "unjustified and continued" presence in the Persian Gulf, not Iran.

Jamal Dehqani Firouzabadi made the statement in an interview with ICANA on Sunday, referring to recent remarks by a US official that he is concerned about what he called "provocative" behavior of Iran's patrol boats in the Persian Gulf.

The lawmaker explained that some parts of the Persian Gulf are territorial waters and some others are international waters through which any ship can freely pass. "It is up to Iran and other littoral states of the Persian Gulf to maintain security of the region," he said. "So, naturally, ships that belong to the US or any other country should only come here for transporting goods."

Dehqani said the country that is "eligible" to protect its national security in the Persian Gulf is Iran, not a country located thousands of kilometers away.

General Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon last Tuesday that Tehran is acting in an "unsafe and provocative manner" in the Persian Gulf.

The commander said confrontations between the Iranian naval forces and US warships "stoke instability" in the region.

On August 24, Reuters reported an unnamed US defense official as saying that the vessels of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps conducted a "high-speed intercept" of a US warship and "harassed" it in the Strait of Hormuz a day earlier.

In response, Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said on August 25 that it was part of the IRGC vessel's regular duties to monitor foreign ships near Iranian waters.

"If an American ship enters Iran's maritime region, it will definitely get a warning," he said. "We will monitor them and if they violate our waters, we will confront them."