Netanyahu warns Iran of blocking key Red Sea passage

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday warned Iran of blocking the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

“If Iran tries to block the Bab-el-Mandeb, I am convinced that it will find itself facing a determined international coalition to prevent this,” Netanyahu said at the navy base in Haifa city during the navy officers’ course graduation ceremony, Xinhua reported.

“This coalition would also include the State of Israel and all its arms,” he warned.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman also attended the ceremony. “Israel has recently heard of threats to harm Israeli ships in the Red Sea,” he said in a separate speech, without elaborating.

The Bab el-Mandeb Strait is a major sea channel for cargo ships and oil tankers, connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

Last week, Saudi Arabia halted oil shipments after Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi militants reportedly attacked two tankers in the Red Sea.