Israel taking part in US-led naval mission to safeguard Persian Gulf from Iranian attacks
Israel is taking part in a US-led naval mission to safeguard the Persian Gulf from Iranian attacks, Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz told a closed-door meeting with members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Katz said that Israel is part of the US security coalition in the Persian Gulf and is assisting the mission with intelligence and other unspecified fields.
He added that the decision was also a result of a directive he sent to the Foreign Ministry to work with all relevant parties in Israel and with the US government to integrate Israel into the Gulf security mission.
Minister Katz said that participating in the force is a clear Israeli interest in the strategy of curbing Iran and strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Gulf states, which he leads with the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Last week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards terror group seized another foreign vessel in the Persian Gulf and kidnapped its seven crew members. This would mark the third commercial vessel seized by Iran in recent weeks.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday said that NATO ally Germany would not join a US-led naval mission to safeguard the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian attacks.
“At the moment the Britons would rather join an American mission. We won’t do that,” Maas told reporters.
Iran recently started enriching uranium beyond a limit established in a 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, a deal from which President Trump withdrew. Trump has since intensified economic sanctions on Tehran, tensions have escalated and oil tankers have been seized by Iran or targeted by Iranian-backed terrorists.