Iran Navy Chief: Zionist presence in Persian Gulf may trigger war

Tangsiri also warned that, "The US and the UK should take the responsibility for the presence of the Zionist Regime in Persian Gulf waters."

August 12, 2019 21:39
2 minute read.
Iranian Navy ships on a training exercise

Iranian Navy ships on a training exercise. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, has called on the United States and the United Kingdom to take responsibility for an Israeli presence in the Persian Gulf, warning that it may trigger a war in the region.

"Any kind of presence of the Zionist Regime in Persian Gulf is illegal as it may trigger war and conflict in the region," Tangsiri told the Lebanese news agency Al Mayadeen on Sunday.

Tangsiri added that Tehran is doing the utmost to ensure peace in the region, but that it will not allow others to take advantage and prevent Iran from selling its own oil.

“We safeguard the security of the Persian Gulf as long as our security is met,” he said, warning the US and the UK that “whenever our commanders wish so, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by American and British forces.”

Tangsiri also warned that, "The US and the UK should take the responsibility for the presence of the Zionist Regime in Persian Gulf waters."

It was reported in Israel Hayom last week that Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said, during a closed-door session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, that Israel was involved in a US-led naval mission protecting ships in the Strait of Hormuz.

Britain and the US have already joined forces to set up a naval security mission in the area. Efforts to include European allies have so far failed, with Germany saying that it will not be involved.

Tensions in the Gulf region have been running high for months, after a spate of attacks, seizures and sabotages. Six oil tankers were targeted with explosives in the Gulf of Oman in unclaimed acts of sabotage that the US blamed on Iran.

In June, Iran shot down an American surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz, and the US came close to responding with military firepower. In July, Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged oil tanker, Stena Impero, in an apparent act of revenge after the UK seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar.

Over the weekend, Iran also claimed that navy gunboats chased and fired at the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan in the Strait of Hormuz.

Threatening rhetoric from the Islamic Republic against Israel is an almost daily occurrence. Special Aide to the President of the Islamic Parliament, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, wrote on Twitter last week that if Israel does get involved in the international coalition in the Straits of Hormuz, then "it will be engulfed in wrath of the region and its smoke will rise from Tel Aviv."

On Thursday, Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Guard Major General Hossein Salami warned that any new conflict in the region would be a major threat to Israel's existence, saying "a new war will put the Zionist regime under a full-scale threat".

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