Iran must ensure security in the Persian Gulf, which it considers as its sovereign territory, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Friday.

“Iran has historic responsibility for protecting the Persian Gulf. We consider it as part of our territory and believe that the presence of foreign forces there is unacceptable,” Mousavi was quoted by the IRNA news agency as saying.

The diplomat noted that Israel’s participation in the US coalition being created for protecting the Persian Gulf “represents an obvious infringement on Iran’s security and sovereignty.”

“The creation of this coalition will be considered as a major threat to Iran’s national security,” the diplomat said, stressing that the US and Israel would be responsible for the possible consequences.

On July 17, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said a forum involving 65 countries devoted to ensuring security of navigation in the Persian Gulf would be held in several weeks in Bahrain. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 23 that countries from different regions should participate in an international coalition on protecting navigation in the Persian Gulf. On August 6, Israel confirmed its readiness to join the coalition.

The situation in the Persian Gulf sharply deteriorated on June 13 when blasts and fires occurred onboard two tankers in the Gulf of Oman following a suspected attack, which Washington blamed on Iran.

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