The IRGC warning comes amid reports suggesting that Israel has agreed to provide intelligence assistance to a US-proposed maritime coalition to patrol the Persian Gulf against a purported Iranian threat in the wake of "sabotage attacks" on oil tankers in the region. Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri has warned that any illegitimate Israeli presence in the Persian Gulf could spark a confrontation in the region, and that the responsibility for the consequences lies with the United States and the UK. "The United States and the United Kingdom must assume responsibility for the Zionist regime's illegal presence in the Persian Gulf waters. Any presence of the Zionist regime in the Persian Gulf waters is illegal, as it may result in war and confrontation in the region", he told the Lebanese TV channel Al Mayadeen on Sunday. His stark warnings followed reports about Israel agreeing to take part in a US-led international naval coalition in the Persian Gulf, which Washington claims is aimed at securing navigation routes for vessels in the wake of a series of oil tanker incidents there. According to Ynet News, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz told a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defence Committee last week that Tel Aviv would provide assistance in intelligence and other "unspecified fields" to the US-led mission, known as Operation Sentinel... Israel's potential participation has already caused a stir among top Iranian officials. On 9 August, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi described any Israeli involvement in any maritime coalition in the Gulf as a "clear threat" to the national security of the Islamic Republic. "Within the framework of the country's deterrence and defensive policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to counter this threat and defend its territory", he cautioned. His comment was made shortly after Iranian Defence Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami argued that Operation Sentinel would fuel instability in the already turbulent region, while Israel's "highly provocative" engagement could lead to "disastrous consequences for the region".
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