TEHRAN, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Iranian officials have condemned a U.S. plan to set up a coalition to secure maritime transport in the Gulf.
On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced the U.S. plan to establish a military coalition in the Gulf to counter what it calls the "Iran threat," Press TV reported.
The presence of non-regional military forces in the strategic region will act as a "source of insecurity," Zarif was quoted as saying.
The Gulf is a vital lifeline, and accordingly a national security priority for Iran, he said, adding the security of this waterway has long been ensured by Iran.
The security of the Gulf is intertwined with Iran which won't hesitate to safeguard its security, he noted.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Israel's contribution to the U.S. plan of a maritime coalition in the Gulf is a threat to the Islamic republic.
Iran considers the possible Israeli presence in the U.S.-led coalition in the Gulf as a "clear threat to its national security, and reserves the right to counter it," Mousavi said.
"The United States and the illegitimate Zionist regime (of Israel) are responsible for all the consequences of this dangerous move," he warned.
The remarks by the Iranian spokesman came after Israel said it will join what the United States calls an effort to boost security of navigation in the Gulf.
On Thursday, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said the recent U.S. plan to establish a maritime coalition force for escorting ships would not bring security to the Gulf.
"Security of the region is a common concern of Iran and the Gulf neighbors. Therefore, we believe security must be provided by the regional countries who should enter constructive negotiations in this regard," Hatami said.
"The military coalition plan that the United States wants to form under the pretext of providing shipping security will only further escalate insecurity in the region," he added.
"The United States is the root cause of insecurity in the region," the Iranian minister noted.
On Thursday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry asked the Bahraini government to adopt a constructive approach to maritime security of the Gulf.
In a statement, Mousavi condemned the "anti-Iran" conference on maritime security meetings hosted by the Bahraini government on July 31 as "suspicious and provocative."
Such meetings endanger stability and security in the Gulf and pave the way for interference of foreign countries, the Iranian spokesman said.
The security of all regional countries is closely intertwined, he concluded.
Tensions in the Gulf have been mounting recently after the seizure of a British oil tanker by Iran in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and drone confrontations between Iran and the United States over the Gulf waters.