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Iran's Revolutionary Guards Offers Military Escort For Gaza-Bound Ships

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency today reports that the country's Revolutionary Guards is offering a military escort to cargo ships trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.

Ali Shirazi, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the Revolutionary Guards, reportedly said the country's navy will do everything in its power to escort an aid flotilla to Gaza because, as he said, "It is Iran's duty to defend the innocent people of Gaza."

Israel on June 5 intercepted an aid flotilla led by pro-Palestinian activists, a move that followed a deadly May 31 raid of a Gaza-bound flotilla. Nine activists died in the raid and hundreds were detained.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said that Israel will not allow what he called "an Iranian port in Gaza."