US Arms Turning Middle East into Powder Keg: Iran’s UN Envoy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed the US military presence in the Middle East as a root cause of instability and insecurity, saying American arms sales have turned the region into a powder keg.

US Arms Turning Middle East into Powder Keg: Iran’s UN Envoy

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Middle East peace and security challenges in New York on Tuesday, Majid Takht Ravanchi slammed the deployment of more than 70,000 US troops into the region as a main reason behind the insecurity and instability in the Middle East.

The US has an active military presence in all Persian Gulf states except in Iran, the envoy noted, adding, “The number of foreign military installations in the Middle East has jumped from four in 1991 to 41 in 2018. Nearly all of them belong to the US, which marks the highest concentration of military sites in the world.”

Takht Ravanchi further referred to the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as another source of instability in the Middle East.

He said the unbridled flow of American weaponry into this region has “turned it into a powder keg.”

“The sole beneficiary of weapons stockpiling in the region is the defense industry of the exporting countries. We should not ignore the US ‘divide and rule’ mechanism, which seeks to sow seeds of permanent discord among regional states. The Iranophobia remarks by American officials are meant to accomplish such an objective,” the Iranian envoy added, Mehr news agency reported.

“They have leveled unfounded accusations against Iran in order to justify their regional policies, and prevent the country from performing its role in the region,” he deplored.

“While we are not seeking confrontation, we cannot and will not remain indifferent to the violation of our sovereignty. Therefore, in order to secure our borders and interests, we will vigorously exercise our inherent right to self-defense,” the ambassador underlined.

Takht Ravanchi also said that Tehran will continue to ensure the security of maritime navigation in the Middle East, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz, adding that the US’ attempts to set up a military coalition in the Persian Gulf to counter what it calls the “Iran threat” will fail.

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