Iran’s navy commander indicated that “while the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman are a safe and stable region, in recent years we have witnessed increased insecurity in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and that’s why we do not understand the [reason for] the presence of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf. We believe that the main purpose of their presence is to undermine dialogue between the effective [regional] navies”. Referring to U.S. and European deployments, he further noted that “we monitor and keep a watchful eye on all their movements and vessels, even from a far distance… [and] believe that such uncalled-for security combinations do not enhance collective security and should be suspended”. Relatedly, GCC officials met with a senior U.S. naval official and, according to a GCC readout, “stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in maritime security”.
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