A senior Iranian commander says people in the Middle East will not allow Britain to secure a new foothold in the region.
“This evil wish of Britain and other European countries for presence in West Asia region will not come true and regional people will not allow such a presence,” The Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, said on Tuesday, adding that Britain better leave the Middle East “before it faces new problems.”
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last December that London “is back” in the Persian Gulf region and will remain committed to the security of its Arab allies there in the foreseeable future.
Johnson's remarks came following a visit by British Prime Minister Theresa May to Bahrain earlier the same month.
Addressing a meeting of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in the Bahraini capital of Manama, May said London and its allies in the region had agreed to form a "strategic partnership" and foster military and other ties.
Britain has signed £3.3 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia since March 26, 2015, when Riyadh began its unprovoked aggression on its impoverished southern neighbor, Yemen.
In November 2016, the UK government rejected calls by two parliamentary committees and human rights groups to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, arguing that the weapons were not being used in “a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”
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Jazayeri also downplayed US President Donald Trump’s rhetoric of using military action against Iran, saying these were “threadbare and ridiculous” threats.
However, Iran has anticipated a set of necessary and effective responses to counter the US based on the Islamic Republic’s interests, he added.
The US president said on February 2 that "nothing is off the table" in terms of a response to Iran's recent ballistic missile test.
Trump made the comment a day after his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, put Tehran on "notice."
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Iranian officials have slammed such statements as foreign meddling in the country's domestic defense agenda, saying that such missile tests were the nation’s inalienable right.
Iran says its missile tests are by no means in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2231 and the landmark nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in July 2015.