UK foreign minister: Iran shares responsibility to prevent Houthi attacks in Red Sea

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Britain’s foreign minister said on Sunday that he told his Iranian counterpart that Tehran shares responsibility for preventing attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis in the Red Sea.

“I spoke to [Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian] today about Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which threaten innocent lives and the global economy,” Foreign Secretary David Cameron wrote on the social media platform X.

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“I made clear that Iran shares responsibility for preventing these attacks given their long-standing support to the Houthis,” he added.

Iranian state media reported that Amir-Abdollahian “criticized the double standards of America and some western countries towards Gaza and Ukraine.”

He was quoted as saying during the call with Cameron: “The Israeli regime cannot be allowed to commit massacres against women and children and genocide in Gaza and set the region on fire, while the stopping of a Zionist ship in the Red Sea is seen as endangering the security of this economic waterway.”

Amir-Abdollahian also said that Iran will respond strongly to any Israeli “aggression.”

The Houthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea for weeks, justifying their actions as support for Palestinians amid the ongoing war between the Gaza-based Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel, which began on October 7.

The Houthi attacks pose a threat to a crucial transit route responsible for up to 12 percent of global trade. In response, the US established a multinational naval task force this month to safeguard shipping in the Red Sea.

On Sunday, US Navy helicopters sank three Houthi-operated vessels that had attacked a container ship in the Red Sea, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

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