TEHRAN — Iran on July 17 insisted that U.S. military deployment in the Gulf is “a source of insecurity,” after the fatal shooting of an Indian fisherman by a U.S. Navy ship in waters off Dubai.
“When the Islamic republic says that the presence of foreign forces is a source of insecurity, this is a perfect example” of what Iran means, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.
“We advise these forces to avoid any provocative action ... and we hope that such incidents will not occur again,” Mehmanparast added.
An Indian fisherman was killed and three others wounded on July 16 when a U.S. ship opened fire on their vessel near the United Arab Emirates port of Jebel Ali in the tense waters of the southern Gulf.
U.S. defense officials said the fishing boat had ignored warnings not to approach the refueling ship USNS Rappahannock, and that sailors on board the American vessel feared it could pose a threat.
The U.S. Navy has been building up its forces in the oil-rich Gulf region amid mounting tensions with Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
Tehran has warned it could close the Strait of Hormuz, in the southern Gulf, if international sanctions begin to bite, potentially disrupting shipping and world oil supplies through the strategic waterway.