Western forces in Gulf encourage regional tensions, Iraqi FM Mohammed al-Hakim says

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Dubai, August 13: Iraq’s foreign minister Mohammed al-Hakim has on Monday said the regional tension in the Gulf region is fuelling through the presence of the Western forces in the area, Reuters reported.

In his official Twitter handle, Hakim said, “The states of the Gulf can together secure the transit of ships. Iraq is seeking to reduce tension in our region through calm negotiations and the presence of Western forces in the region will increase tension.”

In addition, senior Iranian authorities have also cautioned against any attempts to establish an international alliance to secure shipping in the Gulf, with Tehran’s first vice president warning the move will just carry instability to the locale.

 

The reaction comes after DenmarkFrance, the Netherlands, and Italy on Tuesday supported a British proposal for a European maritime force after Iran captured a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, according to Al-Jazeera news reports.

Relations between Iran and the United Kingdom (UK) have been stressed since British officials seized an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this month on doubt it was shipping crude oil to Syria in violation of the European Union (EU) sanctions.

Iran has blamed Britain for acting at the command of the United States and requested the immediate release arrival of its vessel.

Abbas Araqchi, the Islamic Republic’s deputy foreign minister, said Iran would secure Hormuz strait and would not permit any disturbance during shipping in key oil waterways.

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