by: Kate Norman
Tuesday, 13 August 2019 | After the news broke last week that Israel will participate in a US-led military security coalition in the Persian Gulf, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s navy warned that the Jewish state’s involvement will spark war.
“Any kind of presence of the Zionist regime in Persian Gulf is illegal as it may trigger war and conflict in the region,” Iranian navy commander Alireza Tangsiri asserted while speaking to Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese news Al Mayadeen on Sunday.
Israel’s foreign minister announced in a closed-door meeting last week that the Jewish state will participate in “Operation Sentinel” to safeguard Western ships passing through the volatile Gulf region along with the United Kingdom, according to a Hebrew language Ynetnews report. Foreign Minister Israel Katz did not elaborate on the specifics of Israel’s involvement, though it will likely include intelligence.
The Persian Gulf has been a hotbed of tensions between Iran and Western nations—specifically the US and the UK. More than a year after the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, friction between the two nations are coming to a boiling point in the oil passageway in tit-for-tat tanker skirmishes. Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in July, drawing the ire of the kingdom and catalyzing its involvement in the naval operation.
Tangsiri declared of Iran’s looming presence in the waterway, “We safeguard the security of the Persian Gulf as long as our security is met,” adding, “whenever our commanders wish so, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by American and British forces.”
The Iranian naval commander added that Tehran will not allow international interference with its oil shipping through the vital waterway. Washington blamed Iran for the attack of several Western oil tankers in the Gulf over the summer, which the Islamic regime denied.
The hotspot for tensions in the Persian Gulf pinpoint at the Strait of Hormuz. This 24-mile (39-km) wide waterway is the most important oil passageway in the world—even more so now as the setting of the naval tensions between Iran and Western nations. With Iran to the north and Oman to the south, the waterway connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. The strait is the only link for the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world—and more than one-sixth of the world’s oil passes through the route.
According to the Iranian naval commander, Israel dipping its toe in the water is a step too far.
“The US and the UK should take the responsibility for the presence of the Zionist regime in Persian Gulf waters,” he declared.
As friction between Tehran and Washington comes to a head, the Islamic regime continually threatens to place the Jewish state in the crosshairs. An aid to the president of the Islamic Parliament took to Twitter last week to threaten against Israel’s involvement in the oil waterways.
“Iran has vital role in security of Hormuz Strait,” he wrote. “Any US-led military coalition in the [Hormus Strait] is repetition of Iraq/Afghanistan occupation & escalation of insecurity in the region. If Israel enters [Hormuz Strait], it will be engulfed in wrath of the region & smoke will rise from Tel Aviv.”
Posted on August 13, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 13, 2019)
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