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Iran: Extra-regional military presence undermines security in Indian Ocean

The American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) leads a formation of ships from the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group as they transit the Indian Ocean. (File photo)

Iran has called for an end to the military activities of extra-regional powers in the Indian Ocean region, saying their presence as well as a desire for an arms race has undermined regional security.

“Fifty years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, the importance of the region has continued to grow, with some challenges such as the military presence of extra-regional powers and the desire for an arms race undermining regional security,” Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN General Assembly First Committee Heidar Ali Balouji said at a biennial meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Indian Ocean.

Balouji said that according to the declaration, the major powers must end their military presence in the region and not send nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction to the region, and instead, destroy them.

“The Indian Ocean declaration also calls on members to enter into civilian alliances, which will be effective for lasting security, instead of military coalitions,” he said.

He also voiced the Islamic Republic’s readiness to cooperate with other countries and play an important role in the realization of such a goal.

The General Assembly declared the Indian Ocean a zone of peace by resolution 2832 in 1971. It called upon the great powers to enter into immediate consultations with the littoral states of the Indian Ocean with a view to halting the further escalation and expansion of their military presence in the Indian Ocean.

The declaration upheld the need to preserve the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the states of the Indian Ocean region and sought to resolve political, economic and social issues affecting the region under conditions of peace and security.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Indian Ocean was established by resolution 2992 in 1972 with a mandate to study the implications of the implementation of the declaration.

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