US turning Gulf region into ‘tinderbox’: Iran’s Zarif
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday slammed a joint US-UK maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf. While the mission officially aims to ensure that international oil tankers can safely navigate through the Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz, Zarif said that “the region has become a matchbox ready to ignite because America and its allies are flooding it with weapons.”
Tensions between Iran and the US and its allies have escalated in the last months. In July, the US accused Iran of carrying out attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Since that month, Iran has also seized at least three foreign vessels in the Persian Gulf. Iran is frustrated with US sanctions on the country and has accused the UK and other European signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal of not doing enough to ease the impact of those sanctions.