UK Joins Forces With US to Protect Ships in Strait of Hormuz
The UK has announced it is joining forces with the United States in the Gulf to protect commercial ships transiting through the Strait of Hormuz, news.sky.com reports.
Two Royal Navy warships, HMS Duncan and HMS Montrose, will work alongside two US destroyers to shield tankers as they pass through the contested waters.
The move marks a change of approach from that taken by Theresa May's government, which tried to generate a European-led coalition.
Despite summits in Bahrain and Tampa in the past few weeks, no other countries have joined up so far.
This latest initiative - described by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as a "new maritime security mission in the Gulf" - comes as the British-flagged ship the Stena Impero remains impounded by Iran, while its crew are still being held hostage onboard.
Until now, HMS Montrose has accompanied 47 British flagged merchant vessels through the strait, and will soon head to port in Bahrain for repairs, leaving HMS Duncan as the sole British warship in the area.
Mr Wallace said the UK was "determined to ensure her shipping is protected from unlawful threats".
He added: "Upholding international maritime law and freedom of passage is in all our interests. We are seeing, across our seas and oceans, too many incidents that seek to challenge such freedoms."
The British announcement is being seen as a diplomatic move to bounce other countries into joining.
Germany has publicly dismissed calls for its participation, and despite having a frigate in the region, France is yet to commit.
Britain said it was "spear-heading" a new force, but in reality only two nations make up the coalition so far, and nothing significant changes in terms of command and control: the British ships will continue to take their orders from Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood.
The Foreign Office insists the overall UK approach to Iran and the nuclear deal hasn't changed.
The British ships will not be asked to police American sanctions against Iran.
"It is vital to secure the freedom for all international shipping to navigate the Strait of Hormuz without delay, given the increased threat," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.
"This deployment will reinforce security and provide reassurance for shipping. Our aim is to build the broadest international support to uphold freedom of navigation in the region, as protected under international law.
"Our approach to Iran hasn't changed. We remain committed to working with Iran and our international partners to de-escalate the situation and maintain the nuclear deal."
Bako Sahakyan Received Representatives of the "My Step Foundation"
Pashinyan Reiterates Position on Acceptable Karabakh Resolution
Artsakh Republic Parliament Speaker Invites Alexis Ohanian to Visit Artsakh
Artsakh Republic President Attended a Solemn Opening Ceremony of a Capitally Renovated School in Kashatagh
Hassan Rouhani Is Expected in Yerevan on October 1: Pashinyan
Armenia's President Signs Decree to Dismiss NSS Chief
A Historic Agreement between Serbs and Albanians Is the Only Way to Achieve Lasting Peace: Serbian Prime Minister
National Security Service Director of Armenia Resigns
Trump Denies Media Reports He’s Willing to Meet With Iran With "No Conditions"
Iran Denies Launching Drone Attacks on Saudi Oil Facility
Trump: U.S. ‘Locked And Loaded’ For Response To Attack On Saudi Oil Sites
"Armenia has been and Remains a Crossroad of Civilizations" – President Sarkissian
Trump Authorizes Release of Emergency Oil Reserve "if Needed" after Attack on Saudi Oil Sites
Kim Jong-un Proposes Trump to Meet in Pyongyang – Report
Armenian Zohrab Mnatsakanyan Kicks off Official Visit to Lithuania
Vanadzor-Alaverdi-Bagratashen Highway is Closed for Truck Traffic
Karina Ignatyan to Represent Armenia at Junior Eurvision 2019
Bako Sahakyan Took Part at a Baptize Ceremony of the April War Martyr's Relatives
Nikol Pashinyan Offers Condolences to Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, in Connection with the Demise of his Mother
Weather Forecast in Armenia: The Temperature Will Gradually Go Up By 4-5 Degrees.
Famous Russian Singer Lyubov Uspenskaya Performed an Armenian Song in Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
The Government Dismisses the Mayors, then Beats the Deputies Elected by the People: Garo Paylan
Models and Celebrities Love Kim Kardashian's Vogue Arabia Cover
Commemoration of Sts. John the Baptist and Job the Righteous
Declaration on Proclamation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic
Armenia PM: If Government Were Subjected to Pressure on Teghut Matter, Over 900 People Would Again Be Unemployed
Government Sets up Terms and Conditions for Affordable Long-Term Mortgage Lending for Contract Servicemen
Mine Exploitation Means 10-25 Blasts a Day, with Each Blast Raising 25 Tons of Dust: Ex-Governor of Vayots Dzor
Jerusalem Municipality Plans to Reconstruct the Armenian Patriarchate Road
Not Rejection But Eexpression of Ssovereignty: Armenia’s FM on PM’s Decision Not to Participate in Economic Forum in Poland
Wind: 8 km/h