Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps naval commander Alireza Tangsiri warned Sunday that “any illegitimate presence by the Zionists in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark a war,” after Israel announced that it was taking part in a U.S.-led mission to secure the Strait of Hormuz.
“Whenever our commanders wish to, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by American and British forces,” Tangsiri told Hezollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen television in Lebanon.
Last week, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that Israel would be providing intelligence and other assistance to “Operation Sentinel,” a U.S.-led effort to secure the Strait of Hormuz in the wake of multiple incidents in which Iranian naval forces seized foreign oil tankers in the vital shipping lane.
Katz said Israel’s participation would help to contain the Iranian threat as well as boost ties in the Gulf region.
Britain, which has had run-ins with Iran in the strait, including the seizure by Iran of the British-flagged Sterna Impero tanker, has also joined the mission.
Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said on Thursday said that “Operation Sentinel” would “increase insecurity” in the region, and that Israel’s involvement would have “disastrous consequences.”