Iran: Little Chance of Middle East War

By Haaretz

Published April 13, 2012.

There’s only a faint chance of war breaking in the Middle East, a top Iranian official was quoted by the country’s state-run TV station as saying on Thursday, blaming any regional instability on the presence of Western forces.

The comment by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast came after, on Monday, the U.S. Navy indicated it deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear program.

A top officer at the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet stationed in Bahrain said that the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group marks only the fourth time in the past decade that the Navy has had two aircraft carriers operating at the same time in the region.

The battleships will also patrol the Gulf’s strategic oil routes that Iran has threatened to shut down in retaliation for economic sanctions.

Referring to the chances of a military confrontation in the Middle East, Mehmanparast told Iran’s Press TV, citing the ISNA news agency, that there was only a faint chance of war breaking out in the Persian Gulf and the region, adding that the “presence of foreign forces in the Middle East is the root cause of regional insecurity. They should leave our region.”

“The West seeks to cause conflict in the region and instability among regional countries, but the Islamic Republic of Iran is interested in stability and security of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East,” Mehmanparast added, saying that the West lost strategic assets following the Arab Spring.

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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