Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says some regional countries are paving the way for the presence of foreign military powers in the region, stressing that the provision of security cannot be entrusted to others.
“Today, some Persian Gulf littoral states want to purchase security and are spending huge sums to buy [military] equipment,” Dehqan said on Monday, adding that the Islamic Republic regards such bids as being at odds with the regional security.
The Iranian defense minister emphasized that instead of relying on foreign powers, regional countries must rely on their internal capabilities.
During recent years, some Arab states of the Persian Gulf have been prompted by the West’s Iranophobic propaganda to spend huge sums of petrodollars on Western military equipment and even conduct joint maneuvers with transregional powers such as the United States, Britain, and France, which in some cases included simulation of attacks on the Iranian targets.
Britain, the US, France and Australia started a three-day maritime military exercises, dubbed the Unified Trident, in the Persian Gulf on January 31 with Iran warning that it would not allow any intrusion into its territorial waters.
The foreign forces participating in those drills included British Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean and Type-45 destroyer HMS Daring, US warships USS Hopper and USS Mahan as well as French anti-aircraft frigate, FS Forbin.
Additionally, targeting Iranian combat jets, ships and coastal missile launching facilities was reportedly simulated during the exercises.
Touching on the simulation of hitting Iranian targets, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Iran "does not care who’s doing what."
“For us, it is important to boost our defense capabilities to such a level that we can withstand any threats [posed against us from] anywhere," he added.
The Unified Trident drills came after a string of incidents, in which US vessels that sailed close to Iranian territorial waters were met with Iran's befitting response.
Iran has repeatedly warned that any act of transgression into its territorial waters would be met with an immediate and befitting response.
In January last year, Iran's Navy arrested the crews of two US patrol boats that had trespassed on Iranian territorial waters. Iran released them after establishing that they had done so by mistake.
Iran has invariably asserted that it only uses its military might for defensive purposes and to send across the Islamic Republic’s message of peace and security to other nations.