Armed men stand on the beach as the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Houthi rebels last month, is anchored off Yemen - KHALED ABDULLAH/REUTERS

Armed men stand on the beach as the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Houthi rebels last month, is anchored off Yemen - KHALED ABDULLAH/REUTERS

The Telegraph: Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea unless Israel stops bombing Gaza, as the US warned Tehran was “deeply involved” in attacks on shipping.

“They shall soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, [the Strait of] Gibraltar and other waterways,” Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, a senior member of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said today.

The general did not explain how Iran, which does not border the Mediterranean, intended to make good on its threat.

Iran’s proxy militias in southern Lebanon and Syria do have access to the sea, through which about a fifth of global maritime trade passes.

The Houthis in Yemen, which are backed by Iran, have already forced several major shipping companies to reroute their vessels to avoid the Red Sea by targeting merchant craft with drones and missiles.

On Saturday, a Liberian-flagged tanker was struck by a drone while it was sailing in the Arabian Sea off the coast of India, setting it on fire.

Yemen's Houthis have warned they are ready to attack ships in the region - MOHAMMED HAMOUD/GETTY

“Some structural damage was also reported and some water was taken onboard. The vessel was Israel-affiliated. She had last called at Saudi Arabia and was destined for India at the time,” British maritime security firm Ambrey said.

The fire was extinguished without any casualties being suffered by the crew.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack came amid a wave of drone and missile attacks carried out by the Houthis.

“Yesterday, the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz became a nightmare for them, and today they are trapped ... in the Red Sea,” Brig Gen Naqdi said, describing “the birth of new powers of resistance”.

The Houthis have been fighting Yemen’s government since 2014 - MOHAMMED HAMOUD/GETTY

The Houthi leadership have described the attacks as retribution for Israel’s invasion of Gaza, which was run by another Tehran ally, Hamas.

They claim that the attacks are targeted against shipping headed for Israel; however, several ships which have been struck have no connection with Israel or the war.

On Friday, US intelligence accused Tehran of being “deeply involved” in the operational planning of the Red Sea attacks.

US intelligence suggests that Iran has been providing a monitoring system which is essential for the attacks, the National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson told US broadcaster CNN.

“Iran has the choice to provide or withhold this support, without which the Houthis would struggle to effectively track and strike commercial vessels navigating shipping lanes through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden,” Ms Watson said.

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