Israel Threatens to Attack Iran If Red Sea Strait Is Closed

Saudis already closed key Baab al-Mandeb Strait last week

Continuing with their never-ending series of pretexts for a potential military attack on Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday he is willing to deploy the military if Iran tries to block the Baab al-Mandeb Strait, in the Red Sea.

The Red Sea Strait is a novel one to threaten Iran over, since it isn’t particularly near Iran, and Iran has never threatened it.. It is doubly strange because Saudi Arabia closed Baab al-Mandeb to oil ships just last week.

The Red Sea strait spans from Djibouti to southwestern Yemen. The Saudi military has been attacking the Houthis on Yemen’s Red Sea coast in recent weeks, but well further north. The closure came after the Houthis fired on a Saudi ship in the Red Sea.

Earlier this week, the US was also reported to be considering attacking Iran over the Saudis closing the strait. Here too, US press took the Houthis having fired on a Saudi ship, and dubious claims that the Houthis are tied to Iran, and concluded Iran attacked the ship. The Houthis have already announced a ceasefire in the Red Sea anyhow.

With so much of Israel’s regional foreign policy centering on threatening to attack Iran, it is unsurprising for such a threat to come from Netanyahu. The excuse, however, is laughably bad, and suggests this is just part of the routine background noise of Israel threatening Iran on any given day.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.