Iran very serious in defending territorial waters: Official

Tasnim – The head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization warned against a recent decision by the Israeli regime to join the US-led maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf and said the Islamic Republic is really serious when it comes to its territorial waters.

Iran powerfully defends its national interests in the country’s territorial waters and wherever the interests necessitate doing so and “jokes with nobody about it,” Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali said on Wednesday.

The Americans want to undermine the Persian Gulf’s security while Iran seeks to develop collective security in the region, he added.

The official further referred to the Israeli plan to join a US-led maritime “security” coalition in the Persian Gulf region and emphasized that the occupying regime of Israel is a source of insecurity in the region.

“How is this illegitimate (regime) supposed to provide security in the Persian Gulf?” he wondered.

The United States has announced plans to form a coalition to supposedly protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from what it calls an Iranian threat following a series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

Washington has accused Iran of having a hand in those attacks, a claim Tehran has strongly rejected. Tehran has warned that such sabotage operations may be part of a general ploy to target Iran amid increasing regional tensions.

The US has asked its allies, including Germany, Japan, France, Britain and Israel, to join the coalition.

The call has, however, not been warmly received, with Israel and Britain becoming the only parties which have said flat out that they would join the alliance.

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said on August 7 that the regime would be part of such the US-led coalition to “protect the security of the Persian Gulf.” Katz claimed that Israel was determined to stop “Iranian entrenchment” in the Middle East region and strengthen Tel Aviv’s relationship with Persian Gulf countries.

A day afterwards, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran considered such possible Israeli presence in the region to be a clear threat to its national security, and reserved the right to counter it.