Israel may ‘spark a war’ if it joins US-led flotilla in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s navy chief warns

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Tehran has advised Israel to stay clear of the Persian Gulf, where the US has been struggling to amass an anti-Iran armada, noting that every vessel illegally present in the region increases the risk of an all-out conflict.

“Any illegitimate presence by the Zionists in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark a war,” commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Navy, Alireza Tangsiri, warned Sunday.

Israel reportedly volunteered to provide intelligence and assistance to the US-led coalition against Iran, as the pressure in the Persian Gulf mounts, after a series of mysterious tanker attacks and reciprocal vessel seizures by Iran and the UK. Israel warned last month that it is ready to strike Iran in the case of any “mistaken calculations,” piling on the pressure after an Iran said a US attack would mean “only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan.”

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The Islamic Republic has vowed to protect its sovereignty in the Strait of Hormuz and beyond, accusing the US of trying to enforce its unilateral oil sanctions though military pressure after failing to do it via political extortion. Washington insists its intentions are peaceful and that it is rallying foreign warships to the region with the noble goal of protecting shipping lanes and vessels from Tehran.

So far, the US has had trouble drumming up support for its “maritime policing” initiative in, as among European countries, only the UK has been eager to send two of its vessels into the midst of the tensions.

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