Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

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As a U.S.-led coalition comes together to protect shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf, Iraq tells Israel and other foreign nations to stay away.

By Associated Press

Iraq’s foreign minister says Iraq and Gulf Arab states don’t need foreign powers to secure navigation in the Persian Gulf as that would only increase regional tensions.

Mohammed al-Hakim tweeted Monday that regional states are capable of securing the strategic waterway themselves.

Al-Hakim stressed Israel’s participation in such a mission was unacceptable. Israel recently signaled its willingness to participate in the U.S.-led coalition, and specifically to provide intelligence support.

Al-Hakim’s tweet was in response to efforts by the Trump administration to set up a U.S.-led naval security mission in the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran’s recent seizures of vessels has raised tensions with the West.

The U.S. wants an international coalition to monitor and potentially escort commercial ships there. Britain said last week it would join the mission; no other U.S. allies have committed themselves so far.

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