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Iran downplays as ‘foolish’ US plans to set up naval task force in Red Sea to protect Israel-bound ships

Iran’s defense minister has downplayed as “foolish” US plans to establish a maritime task force in the Red Sea with the apparent purpose of protecting Israel-bound vessels in the area.    

In a stern warning to the United States, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said in remarks published on Thursday that there is no room in the region for outsiders to establish a presence and maneuver.

He also expressed confidence that the US would never carry out such a “foolish” act because as it would cause numerous problems.

“They (Americans) would not definitely do such a thing. If they intend to do such a foolish act, they will face plenty of problems,” the Iranian official warned.

The warning came after the Pentagon said last week that it is ready to help set up a maritime task force to protect merchant shipping in the Red Sea following a series of Yemeni attacks on ships, which were either Israeli-owned or heading toward the occupied Palestinian territories.

Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said on December 4 that such patrols or escorts could be the appropriate response to the targeting of ships in the region.

The US has signaled that several pivotal nations have expressed interest in signing on to the maritime task force.

In reaction, Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement dismissed US plans to form a maritime task force in the Red Sea, saying the group has numerous “stinging” pressure leverages that can be activated in the strategic body of water.

Ansarullah dismisses US plan to establish maritime task force in Red Sea

“We have stinging pressure leverages against the countries that will participate in the coalition in the Red Sea [against Yemen],” said Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of Ansarullah’s political bureau.

Yemenis have declared their open support for Palestine’s struggle against the Israeli occupation since the regime launched a devastating war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements carried out a surprise retaliatory attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the occupying entity.

On Tuesday, Yemeni Armed Forces claimed responsibility for a missile strike on a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea as it was heading towards an Israeli port.

Back on December 4, the Yemeni army also targeted two Israeli ships in the Red Sea as they were attempting to cross the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

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