UK joins US in Gulf mission after Iran taunts allies

August 5, 2019
137 Views

Britain said Monday it will join forces with the United States to protect merchant vessels in the Gulf amid heightened tensions with Iran, after Tehran taunted Washington that its allies were too “ashamed” to join the mission.

Britain’s decision to form the joint maritime taskforce with the United States marks a departure in policy under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after efforts under his predecessor Theresa May to form a European-led grouping failed.

It follows a spate of incidents — including the seizure of ships — between Iran and Western powers, in particular Britain and the US, centered on the vital Strait of Hormuz thoroughfare.

The UK is determined to ensure her shipping is protected from unlawful threats, and for that reason we have today joined the new maritime security mission in the Gulf,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement.

The announcement from Britain’s defense ministry did not detail which, if any, other countries would be joining the new naval coalition.

Britain was also at pains to stress that it had not changed its broader policy towards Tehran.

“We remain committed to working with Iran and our international partners to de-escalate the situation and maintain the nuclear deal,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said”.

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