Defense Minister Criticizes Undocumented Accusations against Iran

June 19, 2019

Tehran, June 19, IRNA - Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami on Wednesday strongly criticized recent accusations against Iran armed forces and said the released footage about the accident occurred in Sea of Oman is undocumented.

Speaking to reporters, Hatami rejected US accusations regarding attacks on oil tankers in Sea of Oman.

He said that the armed forces and Ports and Maritime Organization forces were among the first ones who dashed for rescuing them and saved 23 crew members.

When the Iranian forces arrived the scene of accident, the crew members said that another ship had earlier came for rescue meaning that American forces had arrived the site sooner, he noted.

He reiterated that Iran considers security of waters as its own security, since security of exports and imports relies on waters' security, adding that such accusation against armed forces who are doing their best for safeguarding the regional waters is not fair.

Describing Iran as a powerful and principled country, Hatami said if Iran takes any action, it will accept its responsibility.

Some countries are after making political gains out of Oman accident, he said adding that Emiratis referred to the accident as a managed situation.

US  is for security of waterways as its goal but the US president says that the security of the Persian Gulf is none of their business which means that they have changed their approach to put pressure on those countries which have interests' in waters.

This is while China, Japan, South Korea and Europe oil is being shipped through these waters. 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Hatami referred to proxy wars as another change in US approach.

In the past US had put on its agenda direct intervention in other countries but they are now taking advantage of proxies like ISIS to achieve their goals, he noted.

The 23 crew members of the ship have been transferred from Jask to Bandar Abbas, he said adding that they will head for Dubai based on Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

44 sailors of the two foreign oil tankers which were hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman ،on Thursday morning were rescued by an Iranian vessel in coordination with Hormuzgan's maritime search and rescue center.

They were transported to Jask Port in the east of the southern Iranian province of Hormuzgan as Iran's humanitarian gesture.

The two tankers, the Marshal Islands-flagged and the Panama-flagged, were on their ways to Taiwan and Singapore from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, respectively.