TEHRAN, (BM) – Iran’s defense minister said Thursday that the formation of a US-led flotilla in the Gulf would “increase insecurity” and any Israeli involvement would have “disastrous consequences” for the region, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting The Times of Israel.
Tehran and Washington have been locked in a battle of nerves since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year and reimposed sanctions.
Tensions have soared in the region, with drones downed and tankers mysteriously attacked in Gulf waters.
“The military coalition that America is seeking to form with the excuse of securing maritime transport will only increase insecurity in the region,” Defense Minister Amir Hatami said 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.”
In a closed session Tuesday of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Israel was involved in US-led efforts to provide maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway that leads to the Persian Gulf.
Katz said Israel was assisting the mission with intelligence and other unspecified fields, according to the Ynet news site. He stressed the mission was in Israel’s strategic interest of countering Iran and boosting ties with Gulf countries.
The Israeli foreign minister also reportedly praised Britain’s announcement Monday that it would join the mission, making it the only country so far to officially do so.
Besides Britain, which already has warships on protection duty in the Gulf after a UK-flagged tanker was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, other European countries have refrained from joining the planned operation for fear it might harm their efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with Iran.
Iran has seized three tankers in the Gulf since last month, including the British-flagged vessel.
Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news from us, follow our YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Do not miss the chance to subscribe to our newsletter.
Source: the Times of Israel