US presence in region cause tension: Iran’s Rouhani

Iranian president held a phone conversation with Sweden’s premier and extended condolences over the loss of lives of several Swedish nationals in the Ukrainian plane crash, a statement said.

A statement by Iran’s Presidential Office said Hassan Rouhani talked to Sweden’s Stefan Lofven and said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its investigations until the final results are reached and it will clearly inform public opinions about the results.”

On Saturday, Iran admitted “accidentally” shooting down a passenger plane belonging to the Ukraine International Airline on Jan. 8.

Rouhani blamed U.S. military presence for the tensions in the region.

The Iranian president said “the US military presence in the region and the assassination of General Soleimani has caused tensions in the region and infuriated nations.”

“We should all join hands and restore security to the region and allow peace to prevail in this region,” he added.

Underlining that the problems in the region should be resolved only by regional countries through political ways and dialogue, Rouhani said: “The sovereignty of the countries should be respected.”

Referring to the attack on Ain al-Assad airbase, he said it was “completely legitimate under Article 51 of the UN Charter for Iran’s legitimate defense.”

Tension soared in the region after the U.S. killed Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, in a drone airstrike outside Baghdad airport earlier this month. Iran retaliated with firing a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

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