| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Tehran Warns Against Cooperation with ‘Maritime Alliance to Deter Houthis’

In response to Washington’s efforts to form a maritime alliance to address threats to navigation in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Iran issued a warning against collaboration with the US in countering Houthi attacks.

Ali Shamkhani, the political affairs advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, defended Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, describing them as “courageous.”

Shamkhani asserted that Houthi actions aimed at restricting maritime movement to and from Israel put pressure on a vital lifeline for the latter.

This marks the first official commentary from a high-ranking official in Khamenei’s office regarding Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Mohsen Rezaee, senior military officer in the Revolutionary Guard and former Vice President of Iran for Economic Affairs, dismissed accusations of Iran supporting the Houthis as a “big lie.”

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, emphasized the importance of resistance forces for stability in the region.

He hinted at a potential shift in the strategic, political, and security landscape in the region after the war in Gaza, stating that resistance could not be denied as an effective player in the regional map.

On his part, Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani warned against the formation of the maritime alliance, asserting Iran’s predominance over the Red Sea and rejecting any maneuvering by external forces in the region.

This statement raised concerns among Iranians about the possibility of direct involvement in a war with the US.

Conservative Iranian newspaper “Khorasan” suggested that Houthi actions significantly influenced the calculations of the US, the UK, Israel, and their allies concerning the war and the Gaza crisis.

The newspaper predicted the failure of any multinational task force to protect shipping in the Red Sea against the Houthis and highlighted Ashtiani’s warning about the formation of such an alliance.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat