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Military chief: Iran maintains powerful, firm military presence in region

Iran’s top military commander says despite its mainly peaceful defense doctrine, the Islamic Republic maintains powerful and categorical military presence in the region, warning certain regional countries against inviting the US to the Persian Gulf to hatch plots against Iran.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks on Monday while on a visit to the southern Iranian Persian Gulf island of Abu Mousa to inspect readiness of military forces and equipment deployed to the island.

“Security in the Persian Gulf islands has been realized through the presence of the elite forces and use of the most modern military equipment,” Baqeri said.

The Iranian military commander then warned certain countries along the southern rim of the Persian Gulf against inviting the United States to carry out plots in the Persian Gulf region, emphasizing, “Regional enemies of Iran must know that in parallel to its peaceful doctrine, the Islamic Republic of Iran maintains powerful and firm military presence, and if need be, it would not only defend its territorial integrity, but also hold the inviting countries responsible for any consequences.”

“Some [regional] countries must not pin their hope on America, because this very America was forced to leave Syria after several years of violence and spreading chaos there,” Baqeri said.

The top Iranian military commander also noted that throughout its history, “the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been a pioneer of friendship and peace seeking, and even its military drills are held to convey this message,” he added.

Baqeri concluded by saying that regional security could be only realized through cooperation of all regional countries while foreign presence in the region will prevent achievement of this goal.

Baqeri’s remarks came after on Sunday he slammed the US presence in the Persian Gulf region, noting that the presence of American forces only serves to fuel insecurity in the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s military chief noted that the Americans have always sowed insecurity wherever they had a presence, adding, “Their retreat from Syria and other parts of the region will certainly lead to increased security and peace.”

He also downplayed US President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Syria, saying that Trump’s decision was of no significance for defensive and security missions in the region.

“The US exit from Syria was the humiliating withdrawal of a country that was present there without the consent and approval of the [Syrian] people and the legal government,” Baqeri added.

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