Foreign Military Presence in Hormuz Strait Unconstructive
EghtesadOnline: The presence of foreign military forces in the sensitive Persian Gulf is unconstructive, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said following France's declaration this week that the military component of its maritime surveillance and security mission in the Strait of Hormuz is fully operational.
"We are against the presence of foreign forces in the region under different names and coalitions," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday in a regular press briefing, IRNA reported.
The military component of the European-led Maritime Situation Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH) initiative was declared at full operational capacity on Feb. 25, according to the Defense Post.
According to Financial Tribune, France announced the new EMASOH naval patrol in January with the support of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.
EMASOH is based in the UAE, where France already has a permanent military presence, but the new mission comes after tensions in the Persian Gulf, which saw attacks on foreign tankers in the strategically important waters. The United States and its European allies have blamed Iran for the attacks, an allegation denied by Tehran.
The US has launched its own security coalition as well, called the International Maritime Security Construct, to which the United Kingdom, Australia and several other countries have joined.
Iran believes foreign military presence only causes insecurity and instability in the Persian Gulf, according to Mousavi.
"With the exit of these forces and cooperation among regional countries, we will see a safe, stable and growing region," he said.
Authorities in Tehran maintain that the security of the Persian Gulf has to be ensured by its littoral states and has called on all regional countries and the United Nations to join its initiative, called the Hormuz Peace Endeavor, to meet this end.
The peace plan was introduced by President Hassan Rouhani during the UN General Assembly last September and several countries have so far welcomed the idea as a viable means to make sure the strategic waters are safe for all.