MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Iran welcomes the concept of ensuring collective security in the Persian Gulf area put forward by Russia, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters on Monday at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
"As for security in the Persian Gulf, our viewpoint is very similar to that of Russia. We heeded Russia’s initiative on security in the Persian Gulf, we welcome that initiative," he said. According to Zarif, the issue was discussed at the talks with his Russian counterpart, and Tehran expects Moscow to continue to move in that direction.
He noted that Iran was ready to sign a non-aggression pact with regional countries, adding that Tehran was in favor of freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and energy security. "Unfortunately, the Americans are talking about deploying its contingent to that region. That will result in the escalation of tensions," Zarif warned.
The situation in the region deteriorated once again on July 19, when the Stena Impero oil tanker flying the British flag was detained in the Strait of Hormuz. According to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the tanker was detained for violating international rules and was escorted to the shore for inspections. The US Department of State said it was forging a coalition to ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf region.
On July 23, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested that countries from different regions take part in the coalition. Meanwhile, news reports said that Germany, France and the UK were in talks on their own mission to monitor the safety of navigation in the Persian Gulf.
On July 23, the Russian Foreign Ministry presented the concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf area. It provides for setting up an initiative group to prepare an international conference on security and cooperation in the Gulf area, which will later on lead to the creation of an organization for security and cooperation in the region. In addition, Moscow put forward an initiative to create demilitarized zones in the region and proposed to abandon the permanent deployment of groups of extra-regional states and establish hotlines between the military.