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Iran president issues chilling warning to the west as he shows off nation’s military might

Iran’s president has warned the west to ‘stay away’ while showing his country’s strength during a military parade.

President Hassan Rouhani denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf and said Iran will put forward a peace plan, after arch-foe the United States ordered reinforcements to the region.

His speech came as he and top military brass saluted row after row of soldiers marching past them in tight unison in front of the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran today.

The parade showcased tanks, armoured vehicles, drones and missiles – including the Khorramshahr which is said to have a range of 2,000 kilometres (more than 1,200 miles). 

Rows and rows of soldiers marched in Tehran, Iran, today to mark the Iraqi invasion in 1980, which led to an eight-year-long war. President Hassan Rouhani denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf during a speech at the event

The annual parade showcased tanks, drones and missiles - including the Khorramshahr which is said to have a range of 2,000 kilometres

The annual parade showcased tanks, drones and missiles – including the Khorramshahr which is said to have a range of 2,000 kilometres

As well as denouncing the presence of foreign powers, Rouhani said Iran would present a peace plan to the United Nations within days. Pictured is a missile during the parade in front of the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini

As well as denouncing the presence of foreign powers, Rouhani said Iran would present a peace plan to the United Nations within days. Pictured is a missile during the parade in front of the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini

In his speech, Rouhani called on the foreign powers to ‘stay away’ from the Gulf and said that if they’re ‘sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race. Your presence has always brought pain and misery.’

He added: ‘The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.

‘We are even ready to ignore their past mistakes… since today the situation is such that the enemies of Islam and the region, meaning America and Zionism, want to abuse the rift between us.

‘Our logic is the logic of a Persian Gulf whose security comes from within. Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region.’

The annual military parade marks the start of the week commemorating Iran’s 1980-1988 war with Iraq known as the ‘sacred defence’.

It comes as news that the Swedish owned oil tanker the Stena Impero, which is being held by Iran in the Gulf, is to be released two months after it was seized amid heightened tensions in the region.

President Rouhani, pictured today, called on foreign powers to 'stay away' from the Gulf, saying: 'The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be'

President Rouhani, pictured today, called on foreign powers to ‘stay away’ from the Gulf, saying: ‘The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be’

Hundreds of soldiers, pictured, took part in the parade today which military bosses and the president watched from a stand

Hundreds of soldiers, pictured, took part in the parade today which military bosses and the president watched from a stand

Iranian Turkmen Basij militia members marched during the annual military parade today, marking the Iraqi invasion in 1980

Iranian Turkmen Basij militia members marched during the annual military parade today, marking the Iraqi invasion in 1980

President Rouhani, pictured centre on the stand, looked on as soldiers including the Iranian Turkmen Basij militia members paraded in front of him today

President Rouhani, pictured centre on the stand, looked on as soldiers including the Iranian Turkmen Basij militia members paraded in front of him today

‘We received information this morning indicating that the ship Stena Impero is going to be released in a few hours,’ Erik Hanell, the chief executive of the Stena Bulk company that owns the ship, told Swedish television SVT. 

The ship has been held offshore near Bandar Abbas. Iranian forces seized the British-flagged Stena Impero on July 19 as it was navigating through an international passage in the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance of the Gulf.

Tehran denied the seizure was a tit-for-tat move after British commandos seized an Iranian oil tanker on July 4 as it passed through Gibraltar’s waters, under suspicion it was breaking EU sanctions on oil deliveries to Syria.

Speaking at the military parade today, Rouhani also revealed that Iran would present a peace plan to the United Nations within days. 

‘In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbours that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them,’ he said. 

Iranian armed forces members march during the ceremony today where president Rouhani delivered a warning to the west

Iranian armed forces members march during the ceremony today where president Rouhani delivered a warning to the west

Rouhani, pictured far right watching the military parade today, is expected to travel to New York on Monday before speaking at the UK about the details of the Hormuz Peace Endeavour

Rouhani, pictured far right watching the military parade today, is expected to travel to New York on Monday before speaking at the UK about the details of the Hormuz Peace Endeavour

Soldiers dressed in crisp white uniforms marched in unison during the parade, which is head annually to mark the 1980-1988 war with Iraq

Soldiers dressed in crisp white uniforms marched in unison during the parade, which is head annually to mark the 1980-1988 war with Iraq

Swedish oil tanker the Stena Impero is set to be released after being seized by Iran in July

A Swedish-owned oil tanker held by Iran in the Gulf is to be released, two months after it was seized amid heightened tensions in the region.

‘We received information this morning indicating that the ship Stena Impero is going to be released in a few hours,’ Erik Hanell, the chief executive of the Stena Bulk company that owns the ship, told Swedish television SVT.

Stena Bulk spokeswoman, Lena Alvling, confirmed Hanell’s remarks but said the ship had still not be freed, several hours later.

‘We have nothing new to report,’ she said.

The ship has been held offshore near Iran’s southern port of Bandar Abbas.

Hanell had expressed caution about the tanker’s release.

‘We understand that the political decision has been taken to release the ship,’ he told SVT.

‘We hope it will be able to leave in a few hours, but we don’t want to take anything for granted. We want to make sure the ship sails out of Iranian territorial waters,’ he said.

Iranian forces seized control of the British-flagged Stena Impero on July 19 as it was navigating through an international passage in the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance of the Gulf.

Tehran denied the seizure was a tit-for-tat move after British commandos seized an Iranian oil tanker on July 4 as it passed through Gibraltar’s waters, under suspicion it was breaking EU sanctions on oil deliveries to Syria.

Gibraltar released the ship – formerly called the Grace 1 but since renamed the Adrian Darya 1 – on August 18 after receiving written assurances from Iran that it would not head to countries under EU sanctions.

Tehran denied it had made any promises about the destination of the ship laden with 2.1 million barrels of oil, and is believed to have delivered its cargo to Syria.

The European Union maintains an embargo on Syria in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s bloody crackdown on dissents and rebels.

The Stena Impero had a crew of 23 on board. Seven of them were released on September 4.

Tensions between Iran and the US and its allies have threatened to boil over since May last year when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal and later began reimposing sanctions.

The tensions escalated in the wake of September 14 attacks on Saudi oil installations that Washington and Riyadh have, to varying degrees, blamed on Tehran.

Following the attacks, which caused global oil prices to spike, Trump initially raised the possibility of a military response, saying the US was ‘locked and loaded’.

Washington later expanded its long list of sanctions against Tehran by further targeting its central bank, as Trump indicated he did not plan to strike back.

On Friday, Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the US was sending reinforcements to Saudi Arabia at ‘the kingdom’s request’, while noting the forces would be ‘defensive in nature’.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that Rouhani would announce details of the ‘Hormuz Peace Endeavour’ at the UN General Assembly.

Rouhani is expected to travel to New York on Monday, a day before general debate kicks off at the UN gathering.

Tensions have flared in the Gulf since May, when Iran began reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal and the US said it was sending forces to waters near the Islamic republic in response to ‘indications of a credible threat’ from its forces.

The US deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the sensitive waterways, before sending B-52 bombers, an amphibious assault ship and Patriot missile battery.

Following the deployments, commercial ships were mysteriously attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized in Gulf waters.

Trump in June authorised a military strike after Iran shot down a US drone, only to call off the retaliation at the last moment.

The crisis deepened with the September 14 attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco’s Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield which halved the kingdom’s crude output.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed responsibility, but the US says attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to ‘an act of war’.

Saudi Arabia, which has been bogged down in a five-year war in Yemen, has warned of ‘appropriate measures’ once the source of the strikes is confirmed by a UN investigation.

A Huthi plan for a cessation of hostilities announced on Friday has been welcomed by the UN, but Saudi Arabia was sceptical, saying it would ‘judge other parties by their deeds’.

Today the United States said the additional troops ordered to be deployed to the Gulf region were for ‘deterrence and defense’. 

Speaking to Fox News, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added that he was confident that President Trump would take action if such deterrence measures fail and this was well understood by the Iranian leadership. 

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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