Gulf Arab states can secure Persian Gulf waters alone: Iraq's foreign minister

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2019

Iraq has rejected any Israeli participation in a naval force to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, at the heart of tensions with Iran. "The [Persian] Gulf littoral states can together secure the transit of ships", Hakim wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Monday.

The comment came after Foreign Minister Israel Katz reportedly said Israel was assisting US-led efforts to boost security around the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Iraq's foreign minister says Iraq and Gulf Arab states do not need foreign powers to secure navigation in the Persian Gulf as that would only increase regional tensions. "The existence of Western forces in the region will raise tensions", he added.

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 USA and the UK.

The United States has been trying to persuade its allies to form an global 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. In an interview to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen television station in Lebanon, Tangsiri made the disturbing warning that "whenever our commanders wish so, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by American and British forces".

Shortly after the Israeli regime announced it would join the United States coalition last week, Iran warned the Israeli regime over the consequences of such decision.

Last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said they would help the USA -led effort to "protect the security of the Persian Gulf". About 20 percent of the world's oil passes through that area.

The US and its Gulf allies have accused the Islamic Republic of the tanker attacks.

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