US on Iran’s presence in Antarctica: Washington opposes any efforts to militarize region

Spokesperson for the United States Department of State Matthew Miller responded to Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani's recent remarks who said Tehran will set up a permanent station in Antarctica. Miller stressed that Washington unequivocally opposes any efforts to militarize Antarctica.

“I think that feels a little more like biting off more than they can chew. I would say with respect to Antarctica, Antarctica should remain a sanctuary for peaceful exploration and scientific researc,” Miller told reporters on Monday.

“The United States remains steadfast in its commitment to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which expressly prohibits the establishment of military bases in Antarctica. And although Iran is not a party to the treaty, we unequivocally oppose any efforts to militarize Antarctica,” he said.

The spokesperson added “military activities” should have no place in that unique environment, whether they be by Iran or anyone else.

In late September, Rear Admiral Irani outlined his force’s plans in Antarctica, including establishing a permanent base for military and scientific missions.

“Our future plan is to proudly hoist the Iranian flag in the Antarctica, and undertake collaborative military and scientific efforts in that region,” Irani told IRIB TV1 television channel during a program to mark the anniversary of the 1980-88 Iraqi war on Iran.

Asked whether this meant setting up a permanent base in Antarctica, Irani said, “Inshallah (God willing).”

“It is not just military work. There has to be scientific work and our dear scientists are preparing to implement a joint effort in line with the guidelines” of Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Irani added.

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