Iran will safeguard Strait of Hormuz

Iran Materials 17 September 2008 16:17 (UTC +04:00)

Iran will adopt necessary measures to safeguard the Strait of Hormuz, the Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar says, reported Presstv.

"Iran will not allow any threat to jeopardize the security of this channel," Mohammad-Najjar remarked at a press conference in Doha following his two-day visit to Qatar.

The Iranian official expressed Iran's willingness to expand relations with all regional states, which he said would enhance the stability and security of the region.

In respect to the recent threats posed against the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear program, the Iranian minister brushed aside any military action by the Untied States or the Israeli regime at the current juncture.

He announced Iran's full readiness and capability to counter any threat, warning of a harsh reaction to such an aggression.

The senior Iranian official reiterated that any US or Israeli attempt to attack Iran would be of no avail as they both are suffering from serious domestic and international setbacks.

The United States, Israel and Western countries are accusing the Islamic Republic of seeking nuclear weapons, a claim denied by Tehran.

Unlike Israel, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its nuclear activities are under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israeli officials have explicitly warned Iran that they might carry out air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities to stop Iran's nuclear activities.

The Iranian defence official hailed the Iranian armed forces and nation's preparedness to oppose foreign threats. "I believe all regional states are Iran's friends and would never let their countries or the Persian Gulf suffer harm as a result of a new war in the region," Mohammad-Najjar said.

Referring to the military manoeuvres carried out by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Air Force, Mohammad-Najjar noted that the military drills are conducted as a matter of routine aimed at increasing military ability and testing new military equipment.

He then expressed Iran's willingness to hold joint military manoeuvres with the neighbouring states "as the restoration of security to the Persian Gulf requires such moves."

The Islamic Republic Air Force and the IRGC launched a joint military exercise Monday with the aim of coordinating their aerial defences. The manoeuvre, dubbed Asemane Velayat comes amid rising speculation of a possible Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Leading a delegation, the Iranian defence minister headed to Doha Monday to visit Qatari officials with the aim of forming a security alliance with other Persian Gulf littoral states.