We must admit that we did not ask or tell Britain to evacuate the Persian Gulf. They have decided to withdraw voluntarily. What we are saying is, now that Britain intends to leave, this withdrawal from the Persian Gulf area must be genuine and realistic. Here I would like to repeat a statement that I have previously made in this connection and say that if Britain leaves by the front door, it cannot enter through the back door. We cannot, similarly, accept the fact that an island detached by Great Britain from our country should be handed over to others at our expense. This is a principle which Iran cannot disregard.
On the other hand, Iran has always passionately adhered to the policy that it will never resort to force for the acquisition of territory against the will of of its people.
I would like to state that if the people of Bahrain do not wish to associate themselves with our country, we shall not take recourse to force as this would be contrary to our national policy, which we have just advocated. Moreover, what benefit can we derive from occupying and maintaining a land whose people are opposed to us? In the first place, such an action would be considered as occupation. Under all occupations, the well being and security of the occupying forces have to be continuously guarded at all times.
Soldiers have to remain on watch in the streets and constantly face the threat of bullets, grenades and similar dangers.
Our policy and philosophy is to oppose the forceful occupation and seizure of any territory. This is the most explicit way in which I can express our policy in this regard. But, at the same time, we cannot tolerate the idea of having something which belonged to us handed over to others…