Iran warns of war if Israeli warships enter Persian Gulf

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Alhakim attends a meeting with his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad Iraq

Last week, it was reported that Israel's foreign minister, Israel Katz, had told a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel was involved in US-led efforts to provide maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim has expressed his country's opposition to the Israeli regime's possible involvement in a US-led mission in the Persian Gulf, warning that the presence of foreign forces, including Western countries, in the strategic water body will be fueling tensions.

He added that "Iraq will work to lower tensions in our region through calm negotiations", while "the presence of Western forces in the region would raise tensions".

The United States has been trying to persuade its allies to form an worldwide coalition with the declared aim of providing "security" for merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz - through which about a fifth of all oil consumed globally pass -and other strategic Middle Eastern shipping lanes.

Al-Hakim stressed that Israel's participation in such a mission was unacceptable, AP said.


On Sunday, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy, which since last month has three tankers in the Gulf, warned that "any illegitimate presence by the Zionists in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark a war". Israel's contribution to the mission would be limited to intelligence.

Katz said that partnering with the U.S. was in Israel's strategic interests of countering Ira and boosting ties with Gulf countries.

"The security of Persian Gulf is among Iran's priorities, and we believe Iran's shipping lanes must remain global", the IRGC general said.

Washington and its Arab allies in the Gulf have accused Iran of carrying out the tanker attacks, allegations that Tehran denies.

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