Iran seeks regional cooperation for Persian Gulf's security




By IANS,

Tehran: Iran has called for regional security cooperation to maintain the security of the Persian Gulf, ISNA news agency reported.

Speaking during a ceremony held Sunday to mark the National Persian Gulf Day, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said the security in the Persian Gulf could not be implemented unilaterally. It could be achieved only through security cooperation of its regional states, Xinhua reported.

He added that the economic, trade, cultural and social cooperation would lead to establishment of security in the waterway.

Approximately 615 miles long, the Persian Gulf is one of the most vital bodies of water on the planet, as gas and oil from Middle Eastern countries flow through it, supplying much of the world's energy needs.

The Rapporteur of Iranian Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Kazem Jalali, said that regional peace and security could be established if all regional countries were united, while the presence of major powers as well as stockpiling weapons inside the region would insecure the area.

Jalali made the remarks referring to the recent reports saying the US deployed its F-22 Raptors at the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Al Dafra Air Base.

Iran and the United Arab Emirtaes claim territorial sovereignty over the three islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf and have been at odds over them for decades.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Al Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the Iran-controlled Abu Musa island, a move sparked criticism from Arab countries and the recall of UAE's ambassador from Iran.

The Persian Gulf is an extension of the Arabian Sea, positioned in the heart of the Middle East and connects with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea through the Strait of Hormuz.