Illegal US presence causes insecurity in Persian Gulf Area: Iran's Defence Minister [The Nation] 17 Apr, 2020

The statement comes just days after Iranian Navy ships allegedly entered close proximity with US vessels in the Persian Gulf. The US Navy has described this as a series of “dangerous and harassing approaches". Iran's Defence MinisterAmir Hatami has slammed the US presence in the Persian Gulf, calling it illegal and saying it caused insecurity in the region. "The Iranian people are insightful and see who is right; we are at home and they have come from the other side of the world to create a problem for the countries of the region by threatening and sanctioning them,"Brigadier General Hatami told reporters on the sidelines of a parade held on the occasion of Iran's Army Day. Earlier this week,US Naval Forces Central Commandin Bahrainreported that 11 vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy had harassed several US warships engaged in exercises in the northern Persian Gulf. The US has been conducting military manoeuvres in the Persian Gulf since late March,with the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and its battle group arrivingin the waterway in early April. In early April, the US and the United Arab Emirates completed a series of bilateral live-fire exercises in the Persian Gulf region.

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