Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says the Islamic Republic sees no limits to holding military maneuvers in its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran makes no claims on any grounds in coastal, regional and trans-boundary waters beyond international demarcation lines,” Dehqan said on Saturday.
He added that Iran has the right to defend its airspace, land and waters and will “allow no one to carry out any act of aggression.”
“We have no limitations to holding military plans and those who came [to the region] from thousands of kilometers away and claim to establish security in the region must know that their presence is a source of insecurity,” he pointed out.
The Iranian defense minister’s remarks came after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on May 2 that Iran must show off its military power to the US in the Persian Gulf waters.
“The Persian Gulf coast and much of the coasts of the Sea of Oman belong to this powerful [Iranian] nation, therefore we have to be present in this region, [stage] maneuvers and show off our power,” the Leader said.
Dehqan further said the US and Saudi Arabia’s criticism of Iran over its military drills will not serve their interests.
“The US and Saudi Arabia are trying to destabilize the region to prepare the ground for the [military] presence of the US and extra-regional forces [in the Middle East] so that they can blame Iran for the insecurity that they themselves have created,” the Iranian minister said.
He emphasized that this is while Iran contributes to stability and sustainable security in the region
In recent years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in the production of important military equipment and systems.
The country has also conducted major military drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and state-of-the-art equipment.
The Islamic Republic maintains that its military might poses no threat to other countries, stating that its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.