EIGHT EU nations: France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and Portugual will support a European-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz, France’s Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.
The initiative to send European war ships to the Gulf seemed dead in the water last year when the UK announced that it would be joining a US-led maritime coalition in the region.
However France resurrected the plan yesterday, pushing for an alternative European-led maritime security coalition in the Persian Gulf, opening the prospect of both a US and EU anti-Iranian force in the Strait of Hormuz.
The US is seeking to send naval coalition to police the Persian Gulf including Australia, Bahrain, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel in
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson confirmed: ‘We are already part of the International Maritime Coalition primarily to protect British shipping interests in the Gulf. We do not see the EU coalition as a rival, we welcome any effort by other nations to protect their shipping as well.’
The security of the Strait of Hormuz is organised by Iran and this move by the US and the EU is a desperate provocation towards Iran.
The Strait is in some parts is less than 21 nautical miles wide, yet a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 25% of total global oil consumption passes through it, giving it extreme strategic importance.
Tensions in the Persian Gulf began escalating in May 2019, after the US announced that it would be deploying a carrier strike group to the region to counter an unspecified ‘Iranian threat’ to its interests.
France angered the Iranians over the weekend by referring to the Persian Gulf as the ‘Arabian Peninsula’. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi reminded Macron that ‘the gulf located south of Iran has only one name and that is the Persian Gulf.’