JEREMY Hunt today vowed to protect ships in the Gulf with a Europe-wide naval task force as tensions with Iran rise.
Royal Navy vessels will be joined by ships from other European powers to ensure civilians can navigate the area safely.
The Foreign Secretary slammed Iran for committing “state piracy” in seizing a UK-flagged tanker last week.
European Army? Bad, bad, bad.
European Navy? Great idea!
The former Belgian prime minister, a supporter of a united states of Europe, welcomed Jeremy Hunt’s proposal to create a European-led maritime mission after Iran seized the Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker, in an “act of state piracy”.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Welcome steps towards the formation of an European naval force, at the request of the UK, to counter Iranian piracy.
“Brexit might mean Brexit, but it’s clear Europeans are stronger working together!”
The Foreign Secretary insisted his maritime solution was not part of the American policy of putting “maximum pressure” on Iran “because we remain committed to preserving the Iran nuclear agreement”.
Mr Hunt said: “We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region.
“It will not be part of the US maximum pressure policy on Iran because we remain committed to preserving the Iran nuclear agreement."
Given the major navies in Europe are essentially your own there in Britain Vouthon and the French, Spanish and Italian the majority of any real ships capable of force projection are likely to be drawn from those nations. The Germans have a reasonable navy but they’ve never rebuilt it extensively following WW2, of the smaller nations Sweden and Holland have useful assets but whether they would want to send them on extended deployments would be debatable and some of their ships may not be suitable for it as they are adapted for particular climates and locales.
And lets pray there are no Military accidents as per the 1980’s incidents.
Yes . . . but . . . Dunkirk, flotillas of small craft are leaving the south coast of England as we speak . . . Sink the Bismarck!!
That’s the spirit that beat the Armada!
om what is known of it, a fair bit of it consists of Soviet era craft. also some of their assets are UK built and were constructed for Iran before the revolution and are pretty long in the tooth. They’ve been locally upgraded but that can only go so far. On paper it’s a reasonably large force but much of its equipment is ageing and I imagine spare parts and maintenance for some of it is hard to come by.
HMS Kent was the third ship dispatched, that makes two type 23 frigate to start with. They carry a fairly heavy amount of weaponry, including ship to ship missiles and also both can carry helicopter equipped with torpedoes. The Iranians may enjoy playing at brinksmanship but their is a limit to how far they would take that with larger assets in the area. Yes, they might be able to down or damage some of those or use unconventional techniques but they know they can only go so far. On the other hand if the rest of the major European navies send ships it will become costly to maintain a mission for an extended time.
Seems to me a reasonable thing for Britain to do.
Plans for a European-led maritime security force in the Gulf unveiled by the UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, hit choppy waters as the plan was rejected by Iran, met resistance from supporters of the incoming prime minister, Boris Johnson, and was seen by British shipping industry experts as not providing a short-term solution to the crisis facing UK-flagged shipping in the Gulf.
On Monday, Hunt unveiled a plan for a European-led maritime security force, making clear he regarded a proposed rival plan for a US force as likely to be seen by the Iranians as an escalatory step, partly since Washington opposes the Iran nuclear deal.
America’s rejection of the Iran deal in May 2018 has set off a chain of slow-motion events culminating in the seizure last Friday of the British flagged ship Stena Impero. Hunt condemned the Iranian seizure as an act of state piracy.
European leaders have broadly welcomed the Hunt plan even if it is seen as ironic that the UK is proposing a European security initiative at the point it plans to the leave the EU.
The UK envisages a multinational maritime operation that could also include countries in the Gulf region. A multinational operation is perceived as faster to set up than an EU mission, as the UK government faces pressure from industry to protect the half a trillion dollars that passes through the strait of Hormuz each year.
The main objection of Mr Johnson’s “supporters” — whoever they may be — appears to be that the foreign secretary is doing his job, unlike his predecessor.
That gave me my laugh of the day!!
No, their objection is that he’s politically posturing and slowing down a response.
A multinational operation is much faster to set up than an “EU mission” as Hunt is initiating.
Multi-national operation = same ships but without creating a new bureaucratic layer.
, as the UK government
Really? Where do you get that from. The report says the Johnson “supporters” don’t want the US excluded, and “the FO” says this would not exclude the US, so I suppose that’s OK. The report goes on to say the Johnson “supporters” resent the fact that …
That seems to support my reading. Where your reading comes from I don’t know.
Right, Hunt is taking “far-reaching” steps for the future, which is slowing down an immediate response. Even the people he’s trying to protect complained
It has also been seen by British shipping industry experts as not providing a short-term solution to the crisis facing UK-flagged shipping in the Gulf.
You have, I see, disguised the shipping interests as Johnson supporters. Sleight of hand.
I quoted the article.
The article itself was very weak in reference it’s source of Johnson supporters, were they fabricating opposition?
The “their” in your comment referred to the Johnson supporters. Nobody in the article is quoted as saying he was politically posturing, and it was the “shipping interests” who, unsurprisingly, wanted a miracle to be performed immediately across some 2000 miles.
Right, I added “politically posturing”, since it is self evident when he opts for the solution that doesn’t meet the immediate need.
Yes, you did.