Russia Calls for Collective Persian Gulf Security
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Located between Iran and Oman, the strategically important Hormuz Strait connects Persian Gulf waters with the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea.
The Strait is the world's most important oil transit chokepoint. In 2018, around 21 million barrels of oil passed through it daily — about 21% of the world's supply.
According to OPEC data, its member states account for nearly 80% of proved oil reserves, nearly 65% of them in Middle East countries — why the region is strategically important.
On Tuesday, Russia's special envoy for the Middle East and African countries/Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov proposed the following, saying:
"In the context of Russian ideas about ways to stabilize the situation in the Gulf, it was stressed that a really inclusive regional security system may serve as a basis to ensure a worthy future for all nations of this strategically important part of the world," adding:
"The key principles of the concept are a phased character, multilateralism and strict commitment to international law, first of all the United Nations Charter and its Security Council resolutions."
"The strategic goal set by the document is to create a comprehensive mechanism of collective security and cooperation in the Gulf that would involve all the countries of the region on the basis of equality."
Mike Pompeo and John Bolton are seeking coalition partners to control Persian Gulf shipping lanes on the phony pretext of protecting against hostile Iranian actions — finding few takers for the scheme so far.
On Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called for a European-led maritime security force in the Persian Gulf, including US warships, a hostile proposal like the US one Iran rejects.
President Hassan Rouhani's First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said "(t)here is no need to form a coalition because these kinds of coalitions and the presence of foreigners in the region by itself creates insecurity. And other than increasing insecurity it will not achieve anything else."
The only regional threats are made in the USA. Nonbelligerent Iran threatens no one. Trump regime-led hostility toward Tehran created regional crisis conditions.
Britain is attached at the hip with Washington's imperial agenda — against Iran and other sovereign independent countries.
Russia's proposed regional security plan is world's apart from what the US and UK have in mind. It stresses adherence to the UN Charter and other international laws, norms and standards.
The US, Britain, and other Western states operate by their own rules. They're hostile to world peace, stability, and Russia's proposal.
It calls for "(p)ractical steps towards the launch of a process of the establishment of a security system in the Gulf (to) begin with bilateral and multilateral consultations between the parties concerned, including regional and off-region states, the United Nations Security Council, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf," adding:
"These contacts will be geared to form an initiative group to prepare an international conference on security and cooperation in the Gulf."
"The group will be tasked to agree on geographical limits of the future security system, its participants, the agenda, the level of representation, a venue for the future forum and to draft its resolutions, including on measures of security, trust and control."
"The central long-term task is to establish an organization for security and cooperation in the Gulf that, along with the Gulf nations, would include Russia, China, the United States, the European Union, India and other parties concerned as observers or associated members."
Russia's plan involves establishing demilitarized zones in the Gulf, stating:
"The Gulf countries and off-region nations should sign agreements on arms control envisaging, for instance, the establishment demilitarized zones, prohibiting all the parties to stockpile destabilizing arsenals of conventional arms, including anti-tank weapons, balanced reduction of arms by all the parties."
"Apart from that, they should sign agreements on fighting international terrorism, illegal arms trafficking and migration, drug trafficking and organized crime."
"Russia suggests the following consideration on a package of security, trust and control measures as preliminary ideas that require further discussion."
"Concerning the situation in the Gulf, countries of that region and off-region nations should undertake mutual commitments of transparency in the military sphere (dialogue on military doctrines, sub-regional meetings of defense ministers, the establishment of hotlines, exchanges of notifications about military drills and flights of military aircraft, exchanges of observers, non-deployment of forces of off-regional states on the territories of the Gulf countries, exchange of information on weapons purchased and armed forces)."
Russia seeks stepping back from the brink of possible conflict in this strategically important part of the world. It calls for eliminating "weapons of mass destruction" from the Middle East.
Israel alone among regional nations maintains a menacing arsenal of these weapons and intent to use them at its discretion.
Longstanding US aims call for dominating the Middle East, seeking control over its oil and gas reserves, one of the ways it seeks to dominate other nations.
Russia seeks world peace and stability — in the Middle East and everywhere else.
Days earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted the following:
"Make no mistake:
Having failed to lure @realDonaldTrump into War of the Century, and fearing collapse of his #B_Team, @AmbJohnBolton is turning his venom against the UK in hopes of dragging it into a quagmire.
Only prudence and foresight can thwart such ploys."
Iran's envoy to Britain warned that hardliners in the country aim to escalate tensions "well beyond the issue of ships."
On Wednesday, Boris Johnson begins his tenure as UK prime minister. In a same-day article, I called him Britain's Nikki Haley with a gender difference, a hardline right-wing ideologue hostile to world peace and stability.
No friend to Iran, likely to make a bad situation in the Middle East worse on his watch.
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