Iran: Israeli involvement in Gulf will have consequences

Iran's Defense Minister warns against US-led flotilla in the Gulf, says Israeli involvement would have "disastrous consequences".

Elad Benari,

Amir Hatami
Amir Hatami
Reuters

Iran's Defense Minister, Amir Hatami, warned on Thursday that the formation of a US-led flotilla in the Gulf would "increase insecurity" and that any Israeli involvement would have "disastrous consequences" for the region, AFP reported.

The plans to build a coalition of nations to monitor and deter Iranian threats against commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf were announced by the US following continued tensions with Iran in the region.

The mission is dubbed Operation Sentinel.

Britain, which already has warships on protection duty in the Gulf after a UK-flagged tanker was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has said it will join the planned operation.

Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that Israel would also be taking part in the coalition.

"The military coalition that America is seeking to form with the excuse of securing maritime transport will only increase insecurity in the region," Hatami said Thursday in a conference call with counterparts from Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

Reacting to reports of Israeli willingness to join the coalition, he said it would be “highly provocative and can have disastrous consequences for the region”.

Calling the US the main source of tensions in the region, Hatami called on Gulf countries to enter “constructive talks” to provide maritime security by themselves.

In the last few years there have been several close encounters between Iranian and American vessels in the area.

More recently, tensions were exacerbated by a series of attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf which were blamed on Iran.

In another incident, Iran shot down a US drone, claiming it violated Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz.




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