Hassan Rouhani: Foreign forces raising insecurity in Iran
The Iranian president says he will present a peace plan to the United Nations in the coming days
Tehran: President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf and said Iran will proffer a peace plan, after arch-foe the United States ordered reinforcements to the tinderbox region.
"Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," Rouhani said in a televised speech at an annual military parade. He also said Iran would present a peace plan to the UN in the coming days.
"In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbours that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them," he said. Tensions between Iran and the US and its allies have threatened to boil over since May last year when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal and later began reimposing sanctions in a campaign of "maximum pressure". The tensions escalated in the wake of devastating September 14 attacks on Saudi oil installations that Washington and Riyadh have, to varying degrees, blamed on Tehran.
Following the attacks, which caused global oil prices to spike, Trump initially raised the possibility of military retaliation, tweeting that the US was "locked and loaded". The US later expanded its long list of sanctions against Iran. US Defence Secretary Mark Esper announced on Friday that the US was sending reinforcements to Saudi Arabia at "the kingdom's request", while noting the forces would be "defensive in nature" and focused on air and missile defence. In his speech delivered before a massive military parade on Sunday, Rouhani called on the foreign powers in the Gulf region to "stay away".
"We are even ready to ignore their past mistakes... since today the situation is such that the enemies of Islam and the region, meaning America and Zionism, want to abuse the rift between us. Our logic is the logic of a Persian Gulf whose security comes from within," said the Iranian president.
Year Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal
Day Saudi oil installations were attacked
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