0709 GMT February 18, 2020
In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi reacted to the report of formation of the US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“History shows that American coalitions have been nothing but misnomers, which have not only created no security so far, but resulted in further insecurity and instability in different parts of the world,” he added.
The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), the US-led military coalition in the Persian Gulf, has officially launched its operations supposedly seeking to protect shipping lanes near Iranian territorial waters.
The US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain announced that the IMSC, formerly known as Operational Sentinel, had opened its command center in the country on Thursday.
Speaking about the IMSC, commander of the US Naval Forces in the Middle East Vice Admiral Jim Malloy said that its operations will continue "as long as the threat looms," without further elaborating on the supposed "threat," Press TV reported.
"We employ capable warships on patrol, but there is no offensive line of effort in this construct, other than a commitment to defend each other if attacked," he said.
The development comes nearly five months after Washington announced that it was seeking to form a "multinational maritime effort" in response to a series of mysterious explosions targeting vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman earlier this year.
The US and Saudi Arabia were quick to blame Iran for the incidents without providing conclusive evidence.
Washington announced a deployment of 1,000 additional troops in the region following the attacks.
Iran has roundly rejected the accusations, emphasizing its commitment to regional maritime security and its importance in safeguarding international trade.
The Iranian spokesman also said the US needs to misuse the names of other countries to legitimize its unilateral measures, adding, “The US measure in hiding its objectives and dreams behind the names of a few other countries signifies weakness and lack of international legitimacy.”
Mousavi also called on regional countries to rely on their own capacities and those of neighbors to ensure sustainable and inclusive security across the region.
“As the country with the longest coastline on the Persian Gulf, the Islamic Republic of Iran will vigorously keep protecting its economic and security interests, including the navigation security and safety in the body of water,” the spokesperson concluded.
Being widely seen as an anti-Iran coalition, many of Washington's key allies, such as Germany, France and Japan have also rejected Washington's call to take part in the operation.
Among Washington's Western allies, only Australia, Britain and Albania have pledged to deploy forces along with participating regional countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Albania, which is not known to have any apparent interests in the Persian Gulf, is the latest country to join the US-led coalition on Friday.
The country ranks among the countries with the lowest gross domestic product (GDP) in the European Union and is known to have a navy force limited to a small number of patrol vessels.
However, it hosts a sprawling camp for some 3,000 members of the anti-Iranian Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), a largely defunct terrorist group Washington and Riyadh have sought to revive in recent years in a bid to destabilize Iran.
Following two mysterious explosions targeting oil tankers in the Sea of Oman in June, an audio tape leaked from the MKO suggested that the group may have cooperated with Saudi Arabia in the incidents which were blamed on Iran, Press TV wrote.
Albania's participation raises further questions about the purpose of the mission, including whether the US and Saudi Arabia have asked the impoverished country to participate in the coalition at their cost so that MKO terrorists can be used for possible acts against Iran.