Iran rejects international coalition to secure shipping in Gulf

“The enemies must enter negotiations and logical dialogue without imposing pressure,” says Iran’s first vice president. 

By World Israel News Staff 

Iran says it will cooperate only with regional countries in ensuring the security of shipping vessels in the Gulf and rejects calls for international monitoring.

“There is no need for the formation of a coalition to protect the region,” said Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Tuesday, as quoted by Iranian news agencies.

“Iran can ensure the security of the region with the help of regional countries,” he said, quoted by the Tasnim news agency.

“The enemies must enter negotiations and logical dialogue without imposing pressure on Iran, and then they will see that a good and calm region will be there for everyone,” said Jahangiri, according to the agency.

U.S. Central Command chief Kenneth McKenzie has pledged to work “aggressively” to ensure maritime safety in strategic Gulf waters after a spate of attacks blamed on Iran, according to the Middle East Logistics outlet.

“We are currently talking with the international community about the importance of the right of freedom of navigation in the Middle East,” McKenzie told reporters at Prince Sultan airbase near the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Tasnim said.

The flurry of international activity has been heightened by the latest confrontation in the Strait of Hormuz, the seizure on Friday of a U.K.-registered oil tanker by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

“We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime mission,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons on Monday.

London and Washington are reportedly not in complete coordination. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the U.K. must ultimately look out for itself.

“The responsibility in the first instance falls to the United Kingdom to take care of their ships. The U.S. has a responsibility to do its part,” said Pompeo.

For his part, Hunt said that the U.K. “will not be part of the U.S. maximum pressure campaign on Iran,” because the U.K. supports the preservation of the 2015 nuclear deal with Teheran, from which President Donald Trump pulled out in 2018.

U.S. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last week said that the U.S. aims to form a coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf, reported Middle East Logistics.