Iran’s defense minister said Israel’s involvement in a U.S.-led coalition in the Persian Gulf “would be extremely provocative and have disastrous consequences for the region.”
By World Israel News Staff
After Israel announced this week that it will provide intelligence support and other related assistance to a U.S.-led naval coalition operating in the Persian Gulf to protect maritime traffic from Iranian aggression, the Islamic Republic’s military released ominous comments to the Iranian press.
On Thursday, Iran’s Minister of Defense Amir Hatami told the Tasnim News Agency that Israel’s participation in the U.S.-led coalition “would be extremely provocative and have disastrous consequences for the region.”
Earlier this week, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz told a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel will provide assistance to this coalition, which is called “Operation Sentinel” and includes forces from the United States and the United Kingdom, with potential additional support from Australia.
Katz also reportedly told the Knesset committee that Israel’s decision to assist the U.S.-led effort was made after his recent visit to Abu Dhabi, during which he consulted with a senior official from the United Arab Emirates on the “Iranian threat.”
During the past several months, Iran has seized several oil tankers near the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, in addition to being accused of sabotaging a number of other vessels. This waterway represents one of the world’s most important shipping lanes, providing passage for around 20 percdent of the world’s crude oil exports.
In addition to his comments directed at Israel, Hatami told Tasnim, “The military coalition that the U.S. wants to form under the pretext of providing shipping security will only further escalate insecurity in the region.”
Hatami said, “The U.S.regime is the root cause of insecurity in the region, and we believe that security should belong to the whole regional countries, and we do not approve of insecurity inside or against any of the countries, and believe that the region should not become a place for the free presence of aliens.”
The Pentagon for its part has declared its commitment to “shining a flashlight” on the region to thwart any further attacks on ships by Iran
“The goal is to increase maritime domain awareness and surveillance capabilities in the region to dissuade malign action,” senior Pentagon official Kathryn Wheelbarger commented during a NATO briefing in July, Reuters reported
Under the U.S. plan, American ships will lead surveillance efforts, with other coalition participants patrolling adjacent waters and escorting commercial ships.
“The Persian Gulf security relates to the countries of the region which have common interests, and not to the U.S. So, security of the Persian Gulf region should be provided by the countries of this region itself,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, according to Tasnim.