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  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting with tribal leaders in Kerbala, Iraq, March 12, 2019.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting with tribal leaders in Kerbala, Iraq, March 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 June 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said U.S. military presence in the Gulf region is creating "new tension" while U.N. chief urged for non-escalation of tensions. 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that a “new tension” is beginning in the Gulf region after a U.S. drone encroached the Iranian airspace.

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"This region is very sensitive and security of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman is significant for many countries. Therefore, we expect all international bodies to show an appropriate reaction to this act of aggression by the U.S.," Rouhani said during a meeting with President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran announced June 20 that their forces downed a U.S. reconnaissance RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned drone in the southern province of Hormozgan, as it violated the country's airspace.

“It was shot down when it entered Iran’s airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in the south,” the IRGC website added.

According to Rouhani, the rising presence of the U.S. military in the region is causing tensions as they have, in the past, attacked Iranian oil rigs, cargo ships, and also passenger boats in some occasions.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned Sunday that it is essential to avoid “any form of escalation” in the Gulf as tensions continue to rise following the shooting down of the unmanned U.S. drone.

“The world cannot afford a major confrontation the Gulf,” Guterres said on the sidelines of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon. “Everybody must keep nerves of steel.”

Guterres’ comments come a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose new sanctions on Iran.

“It’s absolutely essential to avoid any form of escalation,” Guterres emphasized.

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