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People's Daily Online

Israel calls Iran's increased military presence in Red Sea as "threat" to peace

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:48, July 06, 2022

JERUSALEM, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Tuesday that Iran's military has been entrenching itself in the Red Sea, posing a "direct threat" to regional peace and global trade.

Speaking at a conference in the Greek capital of Athens, Gantz presented satellite images of four Iranian warships patrolling in the Red Sea in recent months, said a statement issued by Gantz's office.

"We can confirm that Iran is methodically basing itself in the Red Sea, with warships patrolling the southern region," the minister said, adding that the activity monitored over the past months has been the most significant Iranian military presence in the area in the past decade.

"It is a direct threat to international trade, energy supply, and the global economy," he said. "It is also a direct threat to peace and stability in the maritime arena, which may affect the Mediterranean and beyond," he said.

Israel and several Gulf countries share concerns over Iran's activities in the Middle East, including its nuclear program, which Israel says aims at building nuclear weapons though Iran maintains that it is peaceful.

The Israeli defense chief's remarks came ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia in mid-July. Israel hopes the White House will help to warm up its ties with Saudi Arabia in a bid to front of possible Iranian attacks.

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