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Iraq rejects Israeli participation in US-led naval mission in Gulf

Iraq rejects Israeli participation in US-led naval mission in Gulf”

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim has expressed his country's opposition to the Israeli regime's possible involvement in a US-led mission in the Persian Gulf, warning that the presence of foreign forces, including Western countries, in the strategic water body will be fueling tensions.

"All of the Arab Gulf states are able to ensure the safe passage of ships in the Gulf", Al-Hakim stressed, adding that while "Iraq seeks to decrease tensions in our region through quiet negotiations, the existence of Western forces in the region will raise tensions".

Last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said they would help the us -led effort to "protect the security of the Persian Gulf".

Britain and the USA have already joined forces to set up a naval security mission in the area.

Katz said Israel's participation would help to contain the Iranian threat as well as boost ties in the Gulf region.

IRAN's commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy, Alireza Tangsiri, warned journalists on Sunday that "any illegitimate presence in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark a war". The strait, that runs between Iran, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, is one of the world's most strategically important locations Iran recently seized several oil tankers amid escalating tensions following U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

It is not clear if Israel has been asked to participate.

Last week, the Ynet news site reported Katz had told a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel was involved in the US-led efforts.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has warned there's a potential for war if Israel joins the maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf.

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. The U.S. decision to launch an worldwide coalition to protect shipping came after attacks on oil tankers and the seizure of a British oil tanker by Iran in July.



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