US failed to form coalition in Persian Gulf: Zarif
Tehran, Aug 5 (IANS) Iran's Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif on Monday said that the US failed to create a naval coalition in the Persian Gulf because its allies had "refused" to join it.
"The US is all alone in the world today. It cannot form a coalition in areas that it claims to be a superpower such as the military area," Zarif said during a press conference in Tehran.
"Today, the US is alone in the world and cannot create a coalition. Countries that are its friends are too ashamed of being in a coalition with them. They brought this situation upon themselves, with lawbreaking, by creating tensions and crises.
"Other countries are embarrassed to have their names on a list next to the US. The era of (the US being) a superpower and bullying is over," he was quoted as saying by Efe news.
The US has been seeking to form a coalition of allies to patrol waters of the Persian Gulf that has been an epicentre of escalating tensions since May when several attacks were launched on oil tankers, for which Washington has held Iran accountable.
However, Washington has been struggling to get support from allies, said the report.
Zarif also warned that Iran "would no longer ignore violations in the Persian Gulf", referring to the seizure of the British-flagged Stena Impero on July 19 in the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly breaking international maritime rules.
The Iranian top diplomat denied that the impounding of Stena Impero was in retaliation for taking the Iranian oil supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar, accusing London of "piracy".
On July 4, the British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards stopped the Iranian tanker on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria, a country subject to European Union sanctions.
Washington imposed severe sanctions and oil embargo on Iran in 2018 when it pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by the Islamic republic and major world powers.
The White House believes that Iran is destabilizing the Middle East, with its interventions in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and its support to Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.
On the other hand, Iran demands to be allowed to sell its oil, the main source of its revenue.
Germany, France and the UK attempted to keep nuclear accord alive by establishing the Instex -- a new transaction channel to facilitate trading with the Islamic republic without violating US sanctions.
Washington criticized the trade mechanism and demanded the EU withdraw from the agreement, considering Iran as a "threat to peace in the Middle East".