Iraq Says Israeli Role in Persian Gulf Naval Force 'Unacceptable'

Clay Curtis
August 13, 2019

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps naval commander Alireza Tangsiri warned Sunday that "any illegitimate presence by the Zionists in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark a war", after Israel announced that it was taking part in a US-led mission to secure the Strait of Hormuz. "The [Persian] Gulf littoral states can together secure the transit of ships", Hakim wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Monday.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has argued that former British Prime Minister Theresa May rejected Washington's proposal to join the US-led naval mission in the Gulf.

He added that Iraq was "seeking to reduce tensions in the region through negotiations, while the presence of Western forces in the region is increasing them".

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The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned that any Israeli presence in the Persian Gulf may result in a war in the region, and the responsibility for the consequences of such illegal presence lies with the US and the UK. The strait, that runs between Iran, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, is one of the world's most strategically important locations Iran recently seized several oil tankers amid escalating tensions following U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Katz didn't claim Israel had ships in the Persian Gulf.

His comments came after Iran's defense minister said last week that the formation of a US-led flotilla would "increase insecurity" and any Israeli involvement would have "disastrous consequences" for the region. Six oil tankers were targeted with explosives in the Gulf of Oman in unclaimed acts of sabotage that the USA blamed on Iran. In July, Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged oil tanker, Stena Impero, in an apparent act of revenge after the United Kingdom seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar.

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