TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad deplored the military presence of some Western states, including Britain, in the Middle East and said the Islamic Republic does not consider their presence beneficial to regional security.
The security of the region should be preserved by regional countries, Baeidinejad said in an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
He pointed to Iran’s initiative for peace in the region, known as the Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE), which was proposed by President Hassan Rouhani at a recent meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York, and said the plan seeks to create conditions for regional countries to preserve their security and peace.
He further stressed that the presence of foreign countries could bring tensions to the region, adding that it does not contribute to the peace and security of the region.
Iran has frequently criticized the presence of foreign forces in the Persian Gulf, stressing that it disrupts security in the region and that only regional states are responsible for safeguarding the security in the body of water.
Rouhani presented the HOPE initiative while delivering a speech at the UN General Assembly 2019 and invited all regional countries to participate in it.
“The initiative is based on the fact that all regional countries are duty-bound to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region. Together with the international community, they have common interests in maintaining freedom of navigation and energy transfer,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said about the initiative at a UN Security Council meeting on September 25.
These regional efforts are necessary to prevent war, conflict, violence, extremism, terrorism and sectarian tensions, Zarif said at the time, adding that Tehran’s proposal was aimed at enhancing solidarity, mutual understanding as well as peaceful and friendly relations between countries in the region in order to guarantee the territorial integrity and political independence of regional states.