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GULF CRISIS: Rouhani warns all foreign forces to stay away from the gulf

Rouhani warns all foreign forces to stay away from the gulf

GULF CRISIS: Rouhani warns all foreign forces to stay away from the gulf
By: Iain Fraser
News & Technology Centre - Malaga, Spain

Iranian president Rouhani has warned all foreign forces to "stay away" from the Gulf after US President Donald Trump announced he was deploying "several thousand" military personnel in a "defensive role" in response to last weeks attacks on Saudi oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais on 14 September, which caused global oil prices to spike.

Iran's thumbprint all over attacks

Despite Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels said they had carried out the attacks, but both Riyadh and Washington say they have “undeniable evidence” of Tehran s guilt, something Tehran has strongly denied.

A Saudi defence spokesman claimed that 25 drones and cruise missiles were used in the attack of two major oil installations and said they had been fired from the north, the direction of Iran.

The Pentagon approved the deployment of a Patriot missile defense battery and a Navy ship to the Middle East amid increasing tensions between the United States and Iran.

A Significant Force

The USS Arlington and a Patriot battery will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a U.S. Air Force bomber task force, which were deployed earlier in the week to the region in response to "heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations".

The Patriot missile system, manufactured by Raytheon, is combat-tested against aircraft, drones, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles. The system is currently deployed in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

US troops and military equipment will also be sent to the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, a key ally of Saudi Arabia.

SAS in Manama

The US compliment is believed to have been augmented by British Special Forces who have already been deployed in response to "credible intelligence" [humint] that there was an "imminent" attack planned by another Tehran aligned "proxy" group against the Royal Navy's £40m state of the art Naval Support facility at Mina Salman will be staffed by up to 500 soldiers, sailors and airmen as well as the UKs embassy.

Collectively this is a major show of military and naval strength in the troubled region which is clearly rattling Tehran.

Tour around the Royal Navy's State-of-the-art Support facility in Bahrain...

Is Tehran s Hard Line Softening?

Rouhani chose to make his speech at the anniversary commemorating the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980. Using what commentators have described as a series of rhetorical platitudes, he warned that “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region.

Going on to say that “They [Foreign forces] should not make our region the site of an arms race" “Your presence has always brought pain and misery… The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will

The the platitudes kicked in when he went on say “We are even ready to ignore their past mistakes… since today the situation is such that the enemies of Islam and the region – meaning America and Zionism – want to abuse the rift between us.”

“In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbours that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them.”

Iran releases "British" oil tanker

Tehran: The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero seized by Iran a couple of months ago has been released, the Ports and Maritime Organisation in the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan said.

"After the issuing of the ruling for the end of detention of the English tanker Stena Impero this vessel will soon, and after the passing of 65 days, begin its movement from the port of Bandar Abbas toward international waters," the head of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran in Hormozgan Province, Allahmorad Afifipour, said on Sunday, according to the semi-official news agency Tasnim.

Legal procedures were being carried out to allow the vessel out of Iranian waters, Afifipour continued, adding that there is an ongoing investigation into the alleged violation by the oil tanker.

The British vessel, with 23 crew members on board, was seized on July 19 by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz while on its way from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia.

The move comes after after Grace 1, now known as Adrian Darya 1, was released from "custody" in mid-August after the British government who naively accepted "assurances" from Tehran that the oil would not be sent to Syria despite requests from the US.

Despite The US issued a warrant for its seizure but it came to nowt and the tanker did
in fact discharge its payload in.... Syria - as expected.

What Next?

The Iranian President announced on his website that he intended to unveil a peace plan to the UN when he travels to New York on Monday, a day before general debate kicks off at the United Nations general assembly.

The announcement said that Iran "will present a plan to the world at the United Nations that the Islamic Republic of Iran, in cooperation with the countries of the region, can create security for the Persian Gulf and the Oman sea with the
help of the countries of the region."

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