Iran Issues Threat In Face Of US, Israel ‘Crimes’

A commander with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in late December warned that the Mediterranean Sea could be shut down if the United States and its allies continue to commit “crimes” in Gaza, Reuters reported.

Iran has accused the United States of supporting what it describes as Israel’s “crimes” in Gaza.

In a report from the Iranian news outlet Tasnim, Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi warned that the US and its allies would “soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea,” including the Strait of Gibraltar and “other waterways.” However, Naqdi did not explain how Iran planned to shut down maritime travel in the Mediterranean.

While Iran has no direct access to the Mediterranean Sea, its militias in Syria as well as the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon are along the Mediterranean, and they are far away from the Strait of Gibraltar.

The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have for more than a month attacked commercial vessels traveling through the Red Sea in retaliation for Israel’s war on the Iranian-backed Hamas, leading some major shipping companies to reroute shipments around the Cape of Good Hope along the southern tip of Africa.

The Houthis have been targeting container ships and oil tankers that traverse through the narrow waterway that separates Yemen from East Africa and leads north to the Red Sea to the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean, an artery through which an estimated 10 percent of global trade passes.

The White House on December 22 released intelligence indicating that Iran was closely involved in the Houthis attacks on commercial vessels, CBS News reported.

In a statement from National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson, the White House said Tehran has been supplying the drones and missiles that the Houthis have been using to carry out the attacks as well as providing tactical intelligence to the rebels.

Watson said the administration had “no reason to believe” that Tehran would try to “dissuade the Houthis from this reckless behavior.”