ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi federal government on Monday rejected the participation of Israeli forces in any military campaign to secure the passage of ships in the Gulf.
“Iraq rejects the participation of the Zionist forces in any military force to secure the passage of ships in the Arabian Gulf. Together, the Arab Gulf states are able to ensure the safe passage of ships,” Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mohammed al-Hakim, stated on his official Twitter account.
His statement came one day after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, warned that any Israeli presence in the Gulf might lead to a confrontation in the region, and held the US and the UK accountable to “bear the consequences.”
“The United States and the United Kingdom must assume responsibility for the Zionist regime’s illegal presence in Persian Gulf waters. Any Zionist regime presence in the Persian Gulf is illegal and may result in war and confrontation in the region,” Tangsiri told the Lebanese television channel Al Mayadeen on Sunday.
Last week, the UK joined the US in a maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel.
Maritime traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil exports traverses, has become the main focus of the stalemate between the US and Iran. The US has increased its military presence in the area since May.
In July, IRGC captured a British vessel, Stena Impero, near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations. It came two weeks after the UK seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions on the war-torn Syria.
Editing by Nadia Riva