News Analysis: Iran to propose initiative as "countermeasure" to U.S. plan: Iranian expert

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-24 22:50:55|Editor: ZX
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TEHRAN, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The "Hormuz Peace Initiative" to be proposed by President Hassan Rouhani in the ongoing UN General Assembly meeting is a "countermeasure" to the U.S. attempts to nurture Iranophobia, Iranian expert of international issues Morteza Makki said Tuesday.

"Iran's plan (of Hormuz Peace Initiative) is more a countermeasure to (the U.S. President Donald) Trump administration's attempts which are aimed at creating an Iranophobia environment in the region and in the world," said Makki.

Rouhani said Monday that Iran's inclusive "Hormuz Peace Initiative" seeks to establish durable peace among the regional states.

"We hope we could unfold this initiative (in the UN meeting) and announce to the world that Iran is seeking a lasting peace in the region and is ready to attend a dialog (with the regional states over the initiative) in the presence of the United Nations," Rouhani said.

He noted that Iran's plan is aimed at securing the shipping lines in the Strait of Hormuz and establishing regional peace and cooperation.

Likewise, the United States has proposed the formation of a coalition to protect international shipping in and near the Strait of Hormuz.

The maritime alliance proposal by the United States came after the seizure of British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, by Iran in July for "violation of maritime regulations in the Strait of Hormuz."

Under the U.S. plan, the coalition would provide coordination among ships and head up surveillance efforts, patrol and provide escort to commercial ships flying their flags.

Following the U.S. offer, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain joined Britain and Australia in the coalition. However, Washington has been unable to persuade its other European NATO allies to come aboard.

"For sure, after two months of efforts, Washington has failed to persuade regional and transregional states to set up a coalition," Makki said.

Some preconditions and requirements should be met to form any alliance like these, he explained, adding that to this end, the countries should resolve some bilateral issues initially.

The United States needs to settle some disagreements and rivalries with some states, and Iran and Saudi Arabia should resolve their mutual differences first, said Makki.

Over the past years, the United States has distanced itself from its European allies following Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.

In the meantime, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has bittered up as Iran has in many ways won the regional influence, like in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, to largely rout Sunni groups backed by the kingdom.

Under such conditions, "the prospect of forming such alliances whether through the U.S. or the Iranian initiatives is not unlikely, if to say so, but very difficult in short run," Makki pointed out.