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Iran FM: Sending more US forces heightens Gulf tension

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif looks on as he gives a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, on 17 April 2019 [Adem ALTAN/AFP/Getty]
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif looks on as he gives a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, on 17 April 2019 [Adem ALTAN/AFP/Getty]

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned that sending US military forces to the Middle East would heighten tension in the Gulf region, as reported on Anadolu Agency.

“These actions are also a threat to global peace and stability,” Zarif said in statements cited by the official IRNA news agency. 

“Such dangerous moves should be encountered,” he said. “The U.S. is leveling baseless allegations against Iran to justify its aggressive policy towards the Islamic Republic.”

READ: By attacking Iran, US in danger of repeating mistakes of 2003 Iraq War

“Such a step would only heighten tensions in the Persian Gulf region,” Zarif warned.

On Friday, CNN reported that US President Donald Trump approved sending some 1,500 U.S. troops to the Middle East in a “mostly protective” effort on deterring “Iranian threats”.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have mounted steadily since Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).

The Trump administration has also re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors, while Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to US oil shipments.

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