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US attacks on Yemen, Syria ‘clumsy attempt’ to divert attention from Gaza: Iran

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman says the recent US attacks on Yemen, Syria and Iraq are “clumsy attempts” to divert public attention from the crisis that is unfolding in the war-torn Gaza Strip.

Nasser Kan’ani made the remarks at a weekly press briefing on Monday, two days after the US military conducted airstrikes on Iraq and Syria in breach of the two countries’ sovereignty.

Nearly 40 people were killed in the air raids that came in response to a deadly drone attack on a US occupation base on Jordan’s border with Syria. 

Also on Saturday, the US, along with the UK, launched a fresh wave of illegal aerial assaults on Yemen amid frustration with the country’s maritime campaign in support of Palestine.

“Attacking other countries is a violation of the national sovereignty of Syria, Iraq and Yemen and a clumsy attempt to divert public attention from the focal point of the crisis. The epicenter of the crisis is still in Palestine, and the solution is to end the genocide,” Kan’ani said.

He added that the recent actions by the US indicate Washington's willingness to give Israel free rein to keep committing crimes against Palestinians.

“The United States’ actions are clear proof that the US government is willing to give the [Israeli] regime free rein to continue crimes,” Kan’ani said.

He also noted that the US actions against the territorial integrity of other countries show that the international community cannot count on Washington’s role to make peace.

“Instead of choosing peace in the region, the US and the UK prefer to choose the Israeli regime and the interests of [prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu over those of nations and governments… Their behavior is inconsistent with their claims on non-expansion of the [Gaza] war in the region,” he added.

Speaking on Sunday, National security adviser Jake Sullivan did not rule out strikes inside Iran and said the US intends “to take additional strikes and additional action.”

Asked about the threat, Kan’ani said Iran neither seeks a regional escalation nor does it support them.

“Iran has shown that it will decisively deal with any threats against its sovereignty and territorial integrity and that it will not hesitate to use its capabilities to deliver a regret-inducing response [to the enemies]. Iran’s power was already recognized by others,” he asserted.

The top Iranian diplomat further emphasized that the occupying regime cannot conduct the aggression against Palestine without the US’s support.

He also highlighted growing opposition inside the US to Washington’s pro-Israel policies.

US presence in region ‘disrupts security’

Referring to the presence of US forces in the region and Iraq’s measures to expel them, Kan’ani said Iran believes the presence of American troops “disrupts security.”

“Instead of investing in security, they (the Americans) have invested in insecurity. The presence of the Americans has not brought security. The regional countries must decide [on the issue],” he added.

‘Unreal coalitions won’t help promote peace’

In December, the US announced a multinational naval coalition in the Red Sea, but many countries have refused to join the alliance.

The announcement came after Yemeni armed forces launched a pro-Palestine maritime campaign in solidarity with the Palestinians in besieged Gaza, targeting ships going to and from ports in the occupied territories, or whose owners are linked to Israel, in the southern Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, the Gulf of Aden, and even in the Arabian Sea.

Kan’ani said Iran believes that the formation of such “unreal coalitions” will not help promote peace.

Afghanistan should secure Iran’s water share in Hirmand River

Elsewhere in his remarks, the spokesman touched on the Iran-Afghanistan dispute over shared water resources.

He said that Tehran is in contact with officials from the ruling administration in Afghanistan and expects them to honor their obligations under a water-sharing accord on the border river of Hirmand, also known as Helmand. 

The two countries signed the deal in 1973, under which Afghanistan pledged to deliver an average of 820 million cubic meters of water per annum to Iran.

Iran has repeatedly criticized Afghanistan for failing to honor the agreement in letter and spirit.

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