USA turning Gulf region into tinderbox - Iran's Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a press conference in the Iranian capital Tehran

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a press conference in the Iranian capital Tehran

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said more USA warships in the Gulf would only lead to more insecurity.

Zarif made the comments as relations between Iran and the United States continue to sour amid pressure against Tehran from Washington that includes the USA withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and the reimposition of crippling sanctions.

Saudi Arabia threw its weight behind Yemen's exiled president, as UAE-backed southern separatists who took over the port of Aden.

Iran's top diplomat on Monday blasted the US for selling weapons to Tehran's adversaries in the Middle East, claiming Washington is turning the region into a "tinderbox ready to blow up".

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports.

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Qatar, which hosts one of the biggest U.S. military bases in the Middle East, is trying not to be drawn into the escalating conflict between Washington and Tehran.

While in Qatar, Zarif met with Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and discussed "issues of common interest", the state-run Qatar News Agency reported. "Iraq is seeking to reduce tension in our region through calm negotiations..."

Concerns about an escalation of tensions have been heightened by a recent series of naval confrontations and the seizure by Iranian forces of a United Kingdom -flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz that connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea.

Iran's relations with the United Kingdom have also been strained since British authorities early last month seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion it was transporting oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

The tanker dispute has tangled Britain in the diplomatic dispute between the EU's big powers - which want to preserve the Iran nuclear deal - and the United States which has pushed for a tougher policy on Iran.

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