Iraq Rejects Any Israeli Role In Persian Gulf Ship Protection Coalition

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the capital Tehran

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said on August 7 that the regime would be part of the US-led coalition to "protect the security of the Persian Gulf".

He added that Iraq was "seeking to reduce tensions in the region through negotiations, while the presence of Western forces in the region is increasing them".

The United States has been trying to persuade its allies to form an worldwide 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. Britain said last week it would join the mission, while no other USA allies have committed themselves so far.

Mohammed al-Hakim tweeted Monday that regional states were capable of securing the strategic waterway themselves and stressed that Israel's participation in such a mission was unacceptable.

"We safeguard the security of the Persian Gulf as long as our security is met", he said, warning the U.S. and the United Kingdom that "whenever our commanders wish so, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by American and British forces".

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Last week, the Israeli government said it is planning to cooperate with an American initiative to provide protection for commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf region.

The US had officially asked Germany to participate - alongside Britain and France - in the coalition, a request that was declined by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

Katz claimed that Israel was determined to stop "Iranian entrenchment" in the Middle East region and strengthen Tel Aviv's relationship with the Persian Gulf countries, Israeli news website Ynet reported. Six oil tankers were targeted with explosives in the Gulf of Oman in unclaimed acts of sabotage that the United States blamed on Iran.

US Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on July 9 that the US was proceeding with plans to assemble the coalition purportedly aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation in waters off Iran and Yemen.

Tensions have soared in the region, with drones downed and tankers mysteriously attacked in Gulf waters.

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