Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has warned against provocation on the Korean peninsula saying that US military presence creates tension and crisis in different regions. Mehmanparast said on Sunday that the tensions escalating among North Korea, South Korea and the US must be controlled and stopped to end the current threatening situation. He urged all sides to refrain from worsening the crisis, saying countries that come from thousands of miles away to stage military drills in this region are guilty of deliberate provocation.
“US officials and certain European ones [claim they] want to establish stability in different Asian and African countries, but they should know their actions contradict their claims,” Mehmanparast pointed out.The Iranian spokesman said provocations, extremism and military presence is jeopardizing regional security and when insecurity prevails, the behavior of both sides could spiral out of control and hurt the entire region. Mehmanparast’s remarks came after Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri warned on Friday that US presence in South Korea has been the root cause of tensions on the Korean peninsula in the past and present, stressing that Washington and its allies will suffer great losses if a war breaks out. On March 11, Seoul and Washington launched a week-long annual joint military maneuver near the Korean Peninsula despite warnings from Pyongyang. The maneuver involved 10,000 South Korean soldiers and about 3,000 US troops. North Korea declared on March 30 that it is in a “state of war” with South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington would trigger an all-out nuclear war. Pyongyang also warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict "will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war." The US on March 31 sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea as part of ‘military exercises’ with the Southeast Asian country. Washington has also deployed two guided-missile destroyers in the Pacific waters off the Korean Peninsula. SF/HGH/SS