Iran on Saturday threatened to “close” down the Mediterranean Sea unless Israel and the U.S. stopped committing “crimes” in Gaza.
Iranian state media did not explain how the Mediterranean Sea would be closed, according to a report from Reuters. Earlier this week, the White House said that Iran was “deeply” involved in planning operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
While Iran doesn’t have access to the Mediterranean itself, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, reportedly talked of “the birth of new powers of resistance and the closure of other waterways.”
“They shall soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, (the Strait of) Gibraltar and other waterways,” Iranian state media Tasnim quoted the general as saying.
Among Iran’s proxies in the region are the Houthis in Yemen. They have been attacking merchant vessels coming through the Red Sea, causing some shipping companies to change routes at great expense.
Iran, which backs Hamas, alleges that Israel and the U.S. are committing war crimes in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.
The Gaza Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, claims that over 20,000 Palestinians have died since the start of the war, according to The Hill. The Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 resulted in 1,200 Israelis being killed and about 240 taken hostage.
Tasnim also reported that a militant group in Iraq, backed by Iran, attacked a natural gas facility off the coast of Israel earlier this week.