Iran says Israeli presence in U.S. maritime coalition “threatening”

TEHRAN, Aug 9 (XINHUA/APP):Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that Israel’s contribution to a U.S. plan of maritime coalition in the Gulf is a “threat” to the Islamic republic.

Iran considers the possible Israeli presence in the U.S.-led coalition in the Gulf as a “clear threat to its national security, and reserves the right to counter it,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Friday.

“The United States and the illegitimate Zionist regime (of Israel) are responsible for all the consequences of this dangerous move,” said Mousavi.

The remarks by the Iranian spokesman came after Israel said it will join what the U.S. calls an effort to boost security of navigation in the Gulf.

On Thursday, Iranian Defense Minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, said that the recent U.S. plan to establish a maritime coalition force for escorting ships would not bring security to the Gulf. The regional security is only created by the regional states’ cooperation, Hatami said.

Pointing to Israel’s willingness to join the U.S.-led coalition, the Iranian defense minister said, such a probable measure would be extremely provocative and have disastrous consequences for the region.

Tensions in the Gulf have been rising recently following the seizure of a British oil tanker by Iran in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and drone confrontations between Iran and the United States over the Gulf waters.

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