Tehran has warned about the risks of the Israeli military participating in an international coalition being put together by the United States, which is aimed at boosting navigation security in the Middle East. Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has threatened not only to wage war at sea, but also to seize any foreign vessels, even those under Western naval protection. Experts told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Iran could assume control over protected merchant vessels.
The Trump administration put forward the idea of establishing a naval coalition in June after a series of attacks on foreign merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf. However, Iran has described the creation of the coalition as a deliberate attempt to deal a blow to its interests. Meanwhile, there is not much confidence that the process of setting up this international alliance, which will deal with the Iranian threat, would be a success. Washington’s attempts to ensure the protection of the Strait of Hormuz are facing an obstacle since its European allies are afraid of entering into a direct confrontation with Iran, the paper writes.
Experts believe that a great deal around the navigation issue in the Persian Gulf will depend on the format and details of Israel’s participation in the international coalition. “Certainly, the defiant emergence of Israeli vessels near Iran’s territorial waters will inevitably raise tensions in the Persian Gulf region and chances are that armed incidents could flare up, given the hostile relations between Israel and Iran,” military expert Yuri Lyamin said.
Speaking about Iran’s prospects for capturing vessels, the analyst noted that despite the presence of British and US ships in the region this was quite possible given that Tehran has an advantage in choosing the location and has many bases there. The key issue is how the sides would react should the situation unfold under an unfavorable scenario. “There will be a serious risk that the situation could quickly spiral into an armed confrontation,” the analyst noted.
Source » tass