Netanyahu warns Iran against blocking Bab al-Mandab strait

Netanyahu warns Iran against blocking Bab al-Mandab strait

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran it would join military action to stop it blocking a key seaway after Yemen's Iranian-aligned Huthi rebels attacked two Saudi oil tankers.

Speaking at a navy ceremony late Wednesday, Netanyahu warned against any attempt to block the Bab al-Mandab strait, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes and the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

"At the start of the week we witnessed a sharp clash with Iranian proxies who tried to obstruct international navigation in the straits at the entrance to the Red Sea," AFP cited Netanyahu as saying.

"If Iran tries to block the Bab al-Mandab, I am convinced that it will find itself facing a determined international coalition to prevent this," the Israeli PM said. "This coalition would also include the state of Israel and all its arms."

On July 26, Saudi Arabia said it had temporarily halted all oil shipments through the waterway after the Huthi rebels attacked two of its tankers.

On August 1, the Huthis announced a two-week pause in Red Sea operations.