International News

US drone intrusion beginning of new tension in region: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the recent encroachment on the Islamic Republic’s airspace by a US spy drone is the “beginning of new tension in the region.”
“This region is very sensitive and security of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman is significant for many countries. Therefore, we expect all international bodies to show an appropriate reaction to this act of aggression by the US,” Rouhani said in a meeting with President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron in Tehran on Sunday.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Thursday that its air defense force had shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.
The IRGC said in a statement that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region, which sits in the central district of Jask County, after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani emphasized that the United States’ military presence in the region is the root cause of all problems, saying that the US warships have in the past attacked Iranian oil rigs, cargo ships and even a passenger plane.
“Also recently, the US violated Iran’s airspace by its [spy] drone and the Iranian defense forces shot it down due to lack of attention to multiple warnings,” the Iranian president added.
Iran’s chief executive noted that the US interference in the domestic affairs of regional countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, has created many problems over the past 17 years, adding, “We believe that security of all regions in the world and the Persian Gulf must be provided by regional countries.”
He added that many regional and global problems are rooted in the violation of international regulations as well as unilateral and bullying approaches adopted by certain countries, particularly the US.
“The unwavering approach of the Islamic Republic of Iran is reduction of tension, preventing any conflict among military forces of [regional] countries, and the expansion of peace and stability in the region and across the world,” Rouhani pointed out.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division said on Friday that Iran has refrained from shooting down a US plane with 35 people on board that was accompanying the downed American spy drone.
“This plane also entered our airspace and we could have targeted it, but we did not because our purpose behind shooting down the American drone was to give a warning to terrorist American forces,” Hajizadeh added.
The IPU president, for her part, said Iran has played a leading role in promoting dialog and multilateralism as well as settling conflict through peaceful approaches.
The IPU has a view to international developments similar to Iran and believes that global issues would not be solved through unilateralism, Barron added.
In another development, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday that the United States and some countries in the region are helping terrorist groups.
“The [past] experience in the region shows that military occupation has propped up terrorist groups, because Americans humiliate occupied nations and doing this by Americans provides social grounds for [the growth of] terrorism in the region,” Larijani said in a meeting with the IPU president.
He pointed to deplorable conditions in Yemen and said certain countries are engaged in arms trade through the ongoing Yemeni crisis and genocide in the impoverished country.
“The solution to the Yemeni issue is not war, but the settlement of this country’s crisis will be only possible through the formation of a national unity government,” the top Iranian parliamentarian emphasized.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Larijani pointed to the “sensitive” issue of Palestine and said US President Donald Trump “seeks to make a deal on the fate of the Palestinian people … but this will strengthen resistance groups, because Palestinians understand that they will get nowhere unless through resistance.”
 
For her part, Barron said the fight against terrorism should not be politicized and hailed Iran’s efforts in this regard.
She added that the IPU should make use of the Islamic Republic’s capacities in dealing with regional issues, particularly the developments in Yemen and Syria, and said the IPU welcomes Iran’s stance on multilateralism.