Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri expressed Iran’s readiness to firmly defend its interests and security in the Persian Gulf region.
He made the remarks on Thursday in while addressing a host of professors and students of China’s National Defense University in Beijing.
“We have never started any aggression or war and will never do so but we will decisively defend our security and sovereignty in case of any aggression or intervention by foreign countries,” he said.
He went on to say that the general policy of the Islamic Republic towards regional issues is “defending the approach which focuses on the active participation of all countries of the region to build a collective and regional security structure.”
“Iran will not tolerate hegemony and interventions of transregional powers in this policy,” stressed the commander.
“Iran has never accepted the presence of 70,000 foreign military forces and more than 40 military bases of US in the region,” said Bagheri, adding that if US finds a chance, it will also build more bases and dispatch more forces to East Asia in a bid to intervene in internal affairs of different countries.
The Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman should be safe for energy exports, he said, noting, “Of course, this security should only be provided by the Persian Gulf States. The presence and deployment of US and Western military forces and projects such as the pre-failed US-led coalition to secure naval security in the Persian Gulf will not yield any result except for sowing more insecurity.”
Elsewhere pointing to Iran’s missile program, the commander said that the missile capability of the Islamic Republic is a defensive measure against constant threats posed to the country.
“Relying on our domestic capabilities and considering existing threats in the region, we have developed our missile power with seriousness, a national determination and a defensive perspective and will continue to do so in the future,” Bagheri added.
“Naturally, in an region where the Zionist regime is armed to the teeth and even possesses nukes and continues making threats against the nations of the region, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran, [in a region where] dozens of US and Western forces are showing aggressive behavior using the highest air, naval and ground capabilities, and some regional regimes such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invest billions of dollars annually to buy a variety of weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no other choice than maintaining its readiness at the highest possible level to ensure its security and confront any possible situation. This is a totally logical and defensive approach.”
Heading a high-ranking military delegation, Bagheri arrived in China on Wednesday for a three-day visit to China upon official invitation of his Chinese counterpart. The key objective of the visit is said to be the promotion of defense diplomacy between the two countries.
Source: Mehr News Agency