File Photo: Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf speaks after being elected parliament speaker in Tehran taken on May 28, 2020 AFP
The presence of US and other foreign military forces in the Middle East is a source of insecurity, Iran's Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said on Wednesday, state TV reported.
"The presence of these foreign military forces, led by the United States, has eroded economic opportunities in the region and beyond," Qalibaf said in a virtual seminar organized by Iran's Supreme National Defense University.
The senior official pointed specifically to the existence of a gap between the northern and southern shores of the Gulf as a result of US military presence in the region.
Qalibaf also mentioned self-esteem, convergence of the countries in the region, and the existence of a deterrent force as the main elements required to expel foreign forces out of the region.
Apart from the eviction of foreign troops, he said that a positive approach based on "maximum participation" of Middle Eastern countries in security, defense, economic, political, cultural, and social structures is needed, as well as environmental cooperation.