The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned that any Israeli presence in the Persian Gulf may result in a war in the region, and the responsibility for the consequences of such illegal presence lies with the US and the UK.
“The United States and the United Kingdom must assume responsibility for the Zionist regime’s illegal presence in the Persian Gulf waters,” IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told the Lebanese TV channel Al Mayadeen on Sunday.
“Any presence of the Zionist regime in the Persian Gulf waters is illegal, as it may result in war and confrontation in the region,” the top commander warned.
The comments came after Israel said it will join a US maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf, which the US says is aimed at boosting the security of navigation in the body of water.
Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said on August 7 that the regime would be part of the US-led coalition to “protect the security of the Persian Gulf”.
On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi warned that the country considers possible Israeli presence in a US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf as a clear threat to its national security, and reserves the right to counter it.
“Within the framework of the country’s deterrence and defensive policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to counter this threat and defend its territory,” he noted.
“The US regime and the illegitimate Zionist regime are responsible for all the consequences of this dangerous move,” the spokesman added.
In his Sunday comments, the IRGC Navy commander slammed the “illegal” formation of the maritime coalition, and said Washington and London fabricate various scenarios to legitimize their presence in the Persian Gulf.
“By establishing an illegal coalition in the region, the US and the UK are trying to implement their own scenarios,” he added.
Admiral Tangsiri said the IRGC Navy is responsible for ensuring the security of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, and “we don’t need the presence of foreigners.”
“The security of Persian Gulf is among Iran’s priorities, and we believe Iran’s shipping lanes must remain international,” the IRGC general said.
He underlined that the world and the regional countries must know Iran will ensure the security of the Strait of Hormuz as long as its oil is allowed to be exported through the waterway.
“Iran is the flag-bearer of security in the Persian Gulf, but that hinges on the export of our oil and the country’s ability to use the region. We’ll ensure the security of Persian Gulf as long as our own security is ensured,” the top commander said.
The United States has been trying to persuade its allies to form an international coalition with the declared aim of providing “security” for merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz — through which about a fifth of all oil consumed globally pass —and other strategic Middle Eastern shipping lanes.
The US had officially asked Germany to participate — alongside Britain and France — in the coalition, a request that was declined by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The UK, however, accepted to join the US-led coalition.
Japan has likewise refused to join the force, and France has expressed reservations.
Washington claims Tehran has played a role in two separate attacks on oil tankers in the Sea of Oman in May and June, without providing any credible evidence to support the accusations.
Iran has categorically rejected the charges.