- Mr. Zarif's remarks have been in response to reports of Israel's possible presence with the US Navy in the Strait of Hormuz.
- "It is Iran's right to confront the threat of the presence of Zionists in the Persian Gulf."
- Israel said it was involved in the intelligence mission and other areas it did not specify.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called the Persian Gulf “a vital highway” for the country and has described the presence of non-regional and foreign forces as a source of insecurity. Mr. Zarif wrote on his Twitter post, “The National Security Priority for the Islamic Republic,” and Iran will “no doubt maintain its security.”
Mr. Zarif’s remarks have been in response to reports of Israel’s possible presence with the US Navy in the Strait of Hormuz. Earlier, the Iranian Foreign Ministry called such a presence “a clear threat” against Iran, saying “it is Iran’s right to confront the threat of the presence of Zionists in the Persian Gulf.” Iran spokesman Abbas Mousavi has said his country opposes the formation of such coalitions, calling it a “deceptive act.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Yadiot Akhronot’s website quoted Israeli Foreign Minister Yasser Katz as saying during a recent meeting with senior UAE officials on Tuesday, August 6, that the country is joining the US-led coalition to protect trade routes in the Gulf. According to the report, Mr. Katz said Israel was involved in the intelligence mission and other areas it did not specify. The site also quoted the Israeli foreign minister as saying that “its interests require Iran to be prevented from entering the region.” He also emphasized the expansion of relations with the Gulf states.
On Thursday, August 5, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami also warned of an Israeli presence in the US military alliance in the Persian Gulf. The Iranian defense minister described Israel’s military presence in southern Iranian waters as “provocative” and added that this could have “catastrophic consequences.” In a phone call to counterparts in Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman, Brigadier Hatami called for the provision of maritime security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz by regional countries, warning of the formation of an American military alliance.
Tensions in the Persian Gulf have increased following the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar and Iranian backlash over the arrest of a British oil tanker. Earlier, six merchant ships were attacked, which Tehran denied, despite Iran’s alleged involvement in the attacks. Iran has also shot down an American drone.