0208 GMT July 18, 2019
Iran general warns conflict in region could spread uncontrollably
UAE calls for de-escalation, dialogue
“This American aggression is the start of new tensions by them in the region, Rouhani said.
“This region is very sensitive ... and important to many countries, so we expect international bodies to react appropriately”.
Iran on Thursday shot down a US spy drone over its territory. Washington said the aircraft was targeted in international airspace.
Tehran repeated on Saturday that the drone was shot down over its territory and said it would respond firmly to any US threat.
Rouhani also said the "interventionist military presence" of the US is responsible for the Middle East's problems.
His remarks came during a meeting with the president of IPU, or Inter-Parliamentary Union, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, in Tehran.
Barron hailed Iran for “playing an important and powerful role” in peacefully resolving conflicts and “promoting multilateralism” in the world.
The IPU has a view to international developments similar to Iran and believes that global issues would not be solved through unilateralism, Barron added.
A senior Iranian military commander said any conflict in the Persian Gulf region may spread uncontrollably.
“If a conflict breaks out in the region, no country would be able to manage its scope and timing,” Major General Gholamali Rashid said.
“The American government must act responsibly to protect the lives of American troops by avoiding misconduct in the region.”
Iran said on Saturday it would respond firmly to any threat against it.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike to retaliate for Iran’s downing of the drone because it could have killed 150 people, and signaled he was open to talks with Tehran.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday Iran should not “mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness.”
Tensions in the region began to worsen significantly when Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six powers and reimposed sanctions on the country. The sanctions had been lifted under the pact in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear program.
Bolton, a longtime Iran hawk, says sanctions will continue against Tehran and that the US reserves the right to attack it at a later point. He emphasized that Trump had only “stopped the strike from going forward at this time.”
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned on Sunday that it is essential to avoid “any form of escalation” in the Persian, saying “the world cannot afford a major confrontation” there.
“Everybody must keep nerves of steel,” Guterres said on the sidelines of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon.
Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said Sunday that tensions in the Persian Gulf “can only be addressed politically” and priority should be de-escalation and dialogue.
“Crisis long in the making requires collective attention; primarily to de-escalate and to find political solutions through dialogue and negotiations,” Gargash said in a Twitter post.
“Regional voices (are) important to achieve sustainable solutions,” Gargash said.
On Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the charge d’affaires of the United Arab Emirates to complain about the UAE allowing the US drone to be launched from a US military base on its territory.
Reuters, AP and Press TV contributed to this story.