Iran wants Persian Gulf security alliance

sadeghzadeh20080916084021734.jpgIran says it wants to forge a strong security alliance with the participation of its neighbors, the Persian Gulf littoral states.

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said Monday that the sensitive situation in the region calls for Persian Gulf littoral states to cooperate on a much more advanced level.

Brigadier General Mohammad-Najjar added that the Islamic Republic’s military power is aimed at safeguarding peace and security in the strategic Persian Gulf region.

Mohammad-Najjar had earlier asserted that the greatest threat against the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz is the presence of foreign forces. The Strait of Hormuz is an essential waterway that connects the oil-rich region to high seas.

Earlier in August, the US and the UK held a five-day joint military maneuver in the Persian Gulf, in preparation for a ‘potential confrontation’ in the region.

Iran has repeatedly warned that if it comes under attack, it would not hesitate in taking necessary measures to protect its sovereignty, including the closure of the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian minister’s remarks on preparations for a regional security alliance come at a time that Israel and the United States threaten to wage war on Iran, accusing Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of making efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

This is while the UN body responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities, confirmed in its Monday report that it had conducted ‘seventeen unannounced inspections’ of the country’s nuclear facilities.

Iran has enriched uranium-235 to a level of ‘less than 5 percent’; the rate is consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.

Mohammad-Najjar, who is on an official visit to Qatar, said discussing measures that can lead to the establishment of permanent strategic cooperation with Qatar is high on the agenda of his visit.

CS/AA/BGH

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