Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani reacted with a three-day delay to The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council’s letter to the United Nations Security Council demanding an extension to the arms embargo against Iran.
Rouhani told Persian Gulf states’ leaders on Wednesday August 12 that “Iran’s military power is in the interest of the whole region.”
Meanwhile, he repeated several times in his statement made during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that “Iran’s weapons and military power are not going to be used against our neighbors.”
Meanwhile he warned the Persian Gulf heads of states that “The United States might take advantage of them for its own interests.”
Rouhani’s comments about not using Iranian weapons against the Gulf states were made while people and the media in the region still remember That Yemen’s Houthis targeted Saudi Arabia with Iranian missiles. Saudi officials and their regional allies have officially charged that the Houthis used missiles delivered to them by Iran against Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis drone attacks on Saudi oil installations have caused tremendous damage, however, Iran denies involvement in the strikes.
Meanwhile, after one of the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of Kayhan newspaper who has been appointed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei provocatively headlined his report on the event as: “Ansarullah Fires Missiles on Riyadh. Next target Dubai.”
Iran also threatened in January that it will attack Dubai in case of any retaliation for an Iranian strike on U.S. bases in Iraq.
Earlier, various Iranian military commanders and other civilian officials including Ali Aghamohammadi, a senior adviser to Khamenei had threatened since mid-2010s that Iran might target U.S. and British interests in the Gulf states, particularly in Dubai in case U.S. threats against Iran intensifies.
Meanwhile, Iranian forces have been accused of disrupting the security of the United Arab Emirates several times by attacking civilian shipping in its ports.Iranian military commanders including IRGC commander Hossein Salami and President Hassan Rouhani have occasionally warned that U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf region are within reach of Iranian forces.
The UN Security Council has issued several resolutions and enforced an arms embargo against Iran during the past 13 years. Nonetheless, upon the conclusion of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the Council issued resolution number 2231 according to which the embargo will end on 18 October 2020.
The United States has been trying to ensure that the arms embargo against Iran is extended beyond October 2020. Washington presented a new draft resolution to the Security Council on Tuesday and asked UNSC members to express their views about the draft by mid-day on Wednesday.
Rouhani also tried to cast doubt on the origins of the GCC letter: “It is not clear who was in favor and who was against the letter. It was not an official session. It was one person’s decision who asked for putting Iran under pressure by extending the deadline for the end of the embargo.”
He said any new plan to extend the embargo would be a gross violation of the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and those who table such moves will be responsible for its consequences.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote in an article in Iran Daily that the UNSC members will stop the United States move which he called “an attempt to destroy what has remained of international law and multilateralism.”
In another development, Iran’s UN Envoy Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in a tweet that the new draft resolution presented by the United States violates Resolution 2231,” and said he was sure that the UNSC would reject it.