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EghtesadOnline: The presence of military forces in the Persian Gulf from countries outside the region would be considered a source of insecurity by Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, in reference to the United States' proposed maritime security mission in the strategic waters.

"Persian Gulf is vital lifeline and thus nat'l security priority for Iran, which has long ensured maritime security. Mindful of this reality, any extra-regional presence is by definition source of insecurity—despite propaganda," he said in a tweet on Saturday. 

He added that Iran will not hesitate to safeguard its security, ISNA reported. 

Washington is pressuring international allies and partners to join a maritime security coalition in the Persian Gulf after accusing Iran of attacking oil tankers without evidence around the Strait of Hormuz, a critical waterway through which a fifth of the world's oil passes, Financial Tribune reported.

Friction between the two traditional foes have worsened since the US pulled out of the nuclear deal and restored sanctions on Tehran. The situation has escalated in the Persian Gulf in recent months following oil tanker and drone incidents, raising fears of a military confrontation. 

Pentagon announced in a statement that more than 60 countries have been invited to join the security mission. 

Britain has said it is joining the coalition to protect vessels after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf for violating maritime regulations.

The UK had earlier detained an Iranian oil ship in Gibraltar for the alleged breach of sanctions on Syria. 

Germany, however, has refused to participate in the naval mission, saying that it wants to ease tensions with Iran. 

"Germany will not take part in the sea mission presented and planned by the United States … There is no military solution,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz had also said in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday that Tel Aviv was part of discussions and intelligence-sharing with a possible US maritime security coalition, according to unconfirmed Israeli media reports. 

Iran has warned against any involvement by its arch-foe in any maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf. 

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Friday that such a configuration poses a "clear threat" to Iran's national security and the Islamic Republic has the right to confront the threat.


Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif Persian Gulf insecurity strategic waters military forces Foreign Military Presence maritime security mission