by WorldTribune Staff, August 12, 2019
The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) navy has warned that if Israel joins a U.S.-led security coalition in the Persian Gulf it could set off a war.
“Any illegitimate presence by the Zionists in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark a war,” IRGC Navy Rear Adm. Alireza Tangsiri told the Lebanese-based Al-Mayadeen TV, which is affiliated with Hizbullah.
The IRGC navy chief’s warning came as the United States is working to form an international maritime security coalition in the Persian Gulf.
Related: Israel: Our military ‘only one in the world to fight Iran’; Changing of the guard at IAEA, July 25, 2019
“The plans to build the coalition of nations, known as Operation Sentinel, were announced by the U.S. following continued tensions with Iran in the region, culminating in the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran,” Arutz Sheva reported on Aug. 12.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz indicated last week that Israel would take part in the U.S.-led coalition in the Gulf.
Katz said Israel’s contribution to the coalition would be limited to intelligence.
In response, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami warned that any Israeli involvement in the international coalition would have “disastrous consequences” for the region.
The IRGC’s Tangsiri, meanwhile, also warned that “whenever our commanders wish so, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by American and British forces.”
The U.S. said the coalition is meant to protect the shipping lanes that pass through the Strait of Hormuz. About 20 percent of the world’s oil passes through that area.