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Iran Considers Israel's Participation In U.S.-Led Force 'Obvious Threat'

A speedboat of Iran's Revolutionary Guard trains a weapon toward the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, July 21, 2019

Iran said Friday that Israel’s participation in maritime operations in the Persian Gulf region “is an obvious threat against [its] national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity”, which would lead to crisis and insecurity.

The spokesman of foreign ministry Abbas Mousavi added that Iran “reserves the right to confront this threat and defend itself”.

After attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf region since May and the seizure of a British tanker by Iran, the United States launched an initiative to form a multi-national task force to protect shipping in the vital waterways of the broader Middle east region.

Mousavi also emphasized that Iran will have no hesitation to confront Israel in the Persian Gulf and “the responsibility of this dangerous act will rest with America and Israel”.

He added that having 1,500 miles of coastline, Iran considers the Persian Gulf an extension of its territory and considers itself obligated to defend its security and freedom of navigation.

Mousavi further noted that Iran considers the presence of non-regional forces in the Persian Gulf, regardless of their purpose, will lead to tensions.

On August 8, Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami had also warned about Israel’s role in the maritime operation, saying it would be “highly provocative and can have disastrous consequences for the region”.