Iran, Britain discuss Red Sea tension

(Xinhua) 09:39, January 01, 2024

TEHRAN, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his British counterpart David Cameron on Sunday exchanged views on the rising tension in the Red Sea as well as the conflict in Gaza.

In a phone conversation, Amir-Abdollahian accused the United States and certain Western countries of applying double standards, according to a statement from the Iranian foreign ministry.

He said it was wrong to let Israel "kill women and children in Gaza" and "set the region on fire," but "view the stoppage of an Israeli ship in the Red Sea as jeopardizing the security of the economic waterway."

The Iranian diplomat also condemned the silence of some Western governments over Israel's attacks on Gaza in the past 80 days.

Amir-Abdollahian also urged Britain to adopt a "realistic and constructive" approach toward regional developments and bilateral ties.

Cameron, meanwhile, expressed his country's views on the developments in Palestine and the Red Sea, and urged Iran to help prevent the escalation of the Israeli-Hamas conflict and ensure maritime security in the region, the Iranian statement said.

In a post on social media platform X, Cameron said he spoke to Amir-Abdollahian about the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which he said had threatened innocent lives and the global economy.

Cameron said he had made it clear that Iran shared responsibility for preventing these attacks given its long-standing support for the Houthis.

The Yemen-based Houthi group has claimed responsibility for several attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea in recent weeks, saying they were in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The U.S. and British officials have accused Iran of "being behind the attacks," which was strongly rejected by Iran.

Israel has been fighting a large-scale conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, after the group launched a surprise attack on southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people, according to Israeli figures. Israel has killed 21,822 Palestinians in Gaza, the Ministry of Health in Gaza said on Sunday.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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