Iran protests U.S. presence in gulf

Aug. 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM

TEHRAN, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Countries surrounding the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz are primarily responsible for security in the region, an Iranian military leader said.

The U.S. military deployed assets to the Persian Gulf region to protect key shipping lanes through the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, deputy director of the Iranian chiefs of staff, said littoral states were responsible for regional security, however.

"The Islamic republic has repeatedly announced that the regional countries are capable of maintaining total security in the region and this depends on the withdrawal of U.S. forces," he was quoted by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

The U.S. Navy confirmed that guided-missile destroyer USS Porter collided with Japanese oil tanker M/V Otowasan early Sunday in the region. The Porter moved under its own power to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for assessment and repair. There were no injuries reported.

The destroyer is on deployment to the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet area for maritime security operations, the Navy said.

U.S. officials last week said Washington was examining its missile defense in the region given recent tensions with Iran. A missile defense system planned for Eastern Europe was touted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as vital to Iranian deterrence.

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