Iran's nominated Defence Minister Amir Hatami attends a parliament session to discuss the president's proposed cabinet in Tehran on August 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:10 A.M.) – Iranian Defense Minister, Amir Hatami, said that if the Persian Gulf becomes insecure, then it will be insecure for all countries of the region.

Hatami said: “Ensuring the security of the Gulf region is a common interest for all the Gulf states, and the countries bordering the Gulf waters are responsible for securing them.”

The defense minister added, “The fact that the neighboring countries allow the United States to be present in the Gulf region is a strategic mistake….The foreign countries are the main factor in destabilizing the region and creating crises in it … The foreign countries are working to demonize Iran and create crises in the Gulf region.”

Hatami’s comments come amid an ongoing war of words with the United States over the ongoing security of the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. maintains that it is protecting its security interests in the region, while Iran says they are protecting their territory.

Iran says that the U.S. has constantly infringed on their territorial integrity in the Persian Gulf region and that their aggressiveness near the Strait of Hormuz is due to Washington’s disregard for the Islamic Republic’s maritime borders.

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