Iran warns against Israeli presence in Gulf

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Iraq has slammed Israel's participation in the US-led Gulf maritime mission, stressing that its involvement will only increase tensions in the region.

"Iraq rejects the participation of the Zionist entity's forces in any military force to ensure the secure passage of ships in the Arab Gulf".

The United States has been seeking to assemble an global coalition to "guarantee freedom of navigation" in the Gulf citing attacks on tankers in the strait where about 20 percent of the world's oil trade passes through. Britain said last week it would join the mission, while no other United States allies have committed themselves so far.

"The states of the Gulf can together secure the transit of ships", he said on Twitter.

He added that he is still looking into what the European mission in the Persian Gulf "would do", claiming that the United States proposal "was far more likely to be successful".

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

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.

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.

In this file photo taken on April 30, 2019, Iranian soldiers take part in the "National Persian Gulf Day" in the Strait of Hormuz.

The US and its Gulf allies have accused the Islamic Republic of the tanker attacks - allegation that Tehran denies. About 20 percent of the world's oil passes through that area. "But we are committed to upholding freedom of navigation and reassuring global shipping, which this deployment on operations aims to do", said Andy Brown, the ship's commanding officer.

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