Iran threatens to close the Mediterranean over Israel's offensive in Gaza

Iran threatens to close the Mediterranean over Israel's offensive in Gaza

Iran threatens to close the Mediterranean over Israel's offensive in Gaza

Iranian media reported Saturday that a commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards threatened to close the Mediterranean Sea if the US and its allies carried out “crimes” in Gaza. The report did not specify how this would be accomplished.

Iran supports Hamas in its opposition to Israel, and it charges that the US supports Israeli crimes in Gaza, where weeks of bombardment have resulted in thousands of deaths and forced the majority of the population from their homes.

“They will be anticipating the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, and additional waterways,” the coordinating commander of the Guards, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, was quoted as saying by Tasnim.

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group has over the past month attacked merchant vessels sailing through the Red Sea in retaliation for Israel’s assault on Gaza, leading some shipping companies to switch routes.

The White House on Friday said Iran was “deeply involved” in planning operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

Iran has no direct access to the Mediterranean itself and it was not clear how the Guards could attempt to close it off, although Naqdi talked of “the birth of new powers of resistance and the closure of other waterways”.

“Yesterday, the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz became a nightmare for them, and today they are trapped … in the Red Sea,” Naqdi was quoted as saying.

(With inputs from Reuters)