Iran’s Defense Ministry warned on Thursday that any Israeli involvement in a US-led naval operation into the Strait of Hormuz would have “disastrous consequences” for the region.
Defense Minister Amir Hatami reportedly added that the “military coalition that America is seeking to form with the excuse of securing maritime transport will only increase insecurity in the region,” during a discussion with defense officials from Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.
The warning comes as Washington ramps up pressure on the Islamic Republic following a string of incidents that have stirred tensions in the Gulf, including Tehran’s capture of a UK oil tanker last month and the downing of US drone over the Strait of Hormuz earlier in the summer.
It comes as Britain on Monday joined the United States in the maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels travelling through the Strait of Hormuz.
Just two weeks ago, Britain was calling for a European-led naval mission. Now, it has joined what it said was a US-led “international maritime security mission”. No other European countries are yet involved.
On Wednesday the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration issued a warning about the threat of Iran in the Gulf specifically as it is alleged to be interfering with GPS signals in the Strait. The officials cited reports of “unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships,” seemingly to seize the vessels by having them directed into Iranian waters.
On Tuesday, Israel’s Foreign Minister reportedly told officials that Jerusalem is assisting a US-led mission designed to protect ships traveling along the narrow sea passage.
Israel Katz said during a closed-door session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the country is currently participating in the mission, providing intelligence along with other unspecified operations in the Gulf.
Source: i24 News / CUFI
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