News / Middle East

Iran Slams US Defense Missile Deployment in Gulf

Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani
Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani

Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani lashed out at U.S. plans to deploy defensive missiles in the Gulf, branding the decision a "political ploy" aimed at increasing its military strength in the region.

Larijani condemned the deployment during a parliament speech in which he also praised Iran's independent foreign policy set forth by Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Larijani says the U.S. decision to base Patriot missiles in four Gulf states, announced last week, was provocative and a threat to the region:

He says the US is justifying its plan to deploy the missiles by pointing to regional concerns over Iran. Unfortunately, he claims, Obama administration officials don't understand that the U.S. is the cause of the region's problems. The missiles, he complains, will cause concern to the countries where they are based, as well as putting U.S. soldiers at risk.

General David Petraeus, chief of the U.S. Central Command, said in several recent speeches that the U.S. was pursuing a defensive strategy in the Gulf, which included upgrading Patriot missile systems, which can now knock out missiles in flight. Iran possesses missiles with a range of 2012 kilometers that can hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region.

General Petraeus also told a Georgetown University audience 10 days ago that the U.S. now has eight Patriot missile batteries stationed in four Gulf states.

Mehrdad Khonsari of the London-based Center for Arab and Iranian studies believes that the U.S. move reveals a sea-change in the U.S. policy of engagement towards Iran announced by President Barack Obama, last year:

"The most important factor regarding the installation of these batteries in the Gulf countries is to indicate to the Iranians a change in tone of the United States government towards Iran. In other words, this act, coupled with Gen. Petraeus' comments ten days ago that the U.S. has the capacity to destroy all of Iran's nuclear facilities is a remarkable change in tone from the kind of gestures which the Obama government had made in the previous 12 months, when engagement was the focus of their attention. This indicates a harsher line: that the U.S. is preparing itself to face all kinds of inevitabilities and is trying to assure the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf that they will not be left at the mercy of Iran."

Arab leaders are privately said to be concerned about the increasing threat from Iran's military arsenal of missiles and the eventual threat of its nuclear potential.

Tehran continues to insist that its nuclear program is intended for peaceful, civilian purposes, but it has so far failed to agree to a U.N. draft nuclear deal to send 70 percent of its low grade uranium to France and Russia for further enrichment.

In a related development, Qatar's crown prince visited Tehran Tuesday according to Iranian state media and was shown meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More