“The region has become a matchbox ready to ignite because America and its allies are flooding it with weapons."
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States and its allies of turning the Persian Gulf region into a "matchbox ready to ignite", according to the Reuters News Agency, citing the diplomat's interview with Al Jazeera television.
Zarif told Al-Jazeera that the Persian Gulf "is narrow, it will become less safe as foreign (navy) vessels increase their presence in it."
"The region has become a matchbox ready to ignite because America and its allies are flooding it with weapons", Zarif continued.
Iran's top diplomat, who has recently been sanctioned by the US, previoulsy said that Washington had failed to create an allied naval mission because "countries that are its friends are too ashamed of being in a coalition with them".
His interview follows a similar remark by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, who insisted that the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz was the elite unit's responsibility, and that they did not need the presence of foreigners in the region.
Tangsiri has, likewise, addressed Israel's reported intention to join a US-proposed naval initiative in the Gulf to ensure security of navigation routes there, saying that it would result in war and confrontation in the region.
Meanwhile, IRGC Commander-in-Chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami has dismissed the US-led anti-Iran mission as the "coalition of demons", warning that Israel's potential involvement would jeopardise the Jewish state's very existence.
The United States has proposed to set up an international maritime coalition, dubbed Operation Sentinel, to police the Persian Gulf and nearby straits in the aftermath of several "sabotage attacks" on oil tankers there that were immediately blamed on Tehran despite its consistent denials.