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The New Arab

Iran: Israeli involvement in Gulf coalition 'threat to national security'

Maritime tensions in the Gulf have escalated [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 August, 2019

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Any Israeli involvement in the Gulf maritime coalition will be considered a threat, the Iranian foreign ministry has said.

Iran will consider any Israeli involvement in any maritime coalition in the Gulf as a "clear threat" to national security, Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesperson has said.

Abbas Mousavi urged on Friday that Israeli involvement will be unacceptable, according to a statement on the foreign ministry website.

His remarks come after Israeli media quoted Tel Aviv's foreign minister Israel Katz as informing officials in a close-door meeting on Tuesday that Israel was part of discussions and intelligence-sharing with a potential United States maritime security coalition.

Israeli officials have refused to comment on the report.

Iran has seized three tanker ships in strategic Gulf waters in a month, and the United States has accused it of carrying out multiple attacks on ships in the region.

The US has been struggling to piece together an international coalition to protect cargo ships travelling through the Gulf, with allies concerned about being dragged into conflict with Iran.

Ortagus also said that the top US diplomat and the crown prince "discussed other bilateral and regional developments, including countering the Iranian regime's destabilizing activities".

Tensions between Washington and Tehran - Saudi Arabia's arch foe - have soared since US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a nuclear deal with Iran last year and imposed punishing sanctions.

Twelve months on from the US withdrawal, Iran responded by suspending some of its commitments under the nuclear deal.

Iran meanwhile shot down an American drone in June, with Trump saying he called off retaliatory air strikes at the last minute, and the United States says it has since downed one and possibly two of Tehran's unmanned aircraft, which the Islamic republic has denied.

 

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