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Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:24PM
File photo shows Iranian coastguards during a drill in the Persian Gulf.

File photo shows Iranian coastguards during a drill in the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast reaffirms the Islamic Republic’s resolve to keep all the military activities across the Persian Gulf under constant surveillance. “The closer the military drills to the territorial limits of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the more careful control we will exert upon them,” said Mehmanparast at his Tuesday press conference in Tehran in response to a question about an upcoming US naval drill in the Persian Gulf. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is sensitive about maintaining security in the Persian Gulf and monitors every move,” he added. The US has announced that it will hold demining drills near the Persian Gulf in cooperation with 20 other countries on September 16-27. Submersibles equipped with TV cameras, homing sonar and explosive charges, are reportedly part of a military buildup intended to keep Iran from following through on a threat to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian top diplomat pointed out that Iran’s armed forces are prepared to safeguard the security of the Persian Gulf by conducting various military maneuvers, adding, “Disruption of the security of the Persian Gulf can be a sensitive issue and we are vigilantly following up this issue.” Iran’s military officials have repeatedly announced that the Islamic Republic is in full control of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf and guarantees complete security of the entire region. Touching upon the negotiations between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mehmanparast pointed out that the talks should be followed up within technical and legal frameworks. He noted that the issue of Tehran’s nuclear energy program could be best resolved through mutual respect and collaboration, and argued that future negotiations should be comprehensive so as to both address IAEA’s concerns and Iran's security and rights under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The IAEA’s 35-member Board of Governors has kicked off a week-long meeting in Vienna with Iran’s nuclear program at the heart of the conversation. The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects such allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the NPT and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. ASH/SS/IS
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