The U.S. plans naval escorts in the Gulf after Iranians threaten UK oil tankers

cargo ship

The nominee to become chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said Washington is setting up a coalition to provide military escort, naval escort for business shipping.

The Pentagon said it was debating military escorts for ships in the Gulf on July 11, one day after armed Iranian ships threatened a British oil tanker.

The White House nominee to become chairman of the Joint Staff Chiefs, General Mark Milley, said Washington was trying to bring together a coalition in terms of offering military escort, naval escort for business shipping.

Tensions in the Gulf have risen in recent weeks, with Iran’s economy in free fall following the re-imposition of US sanctions following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from an international agreement in 2015 to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

The fast chain of events further complicates the attempts of Britain and other European allies to rescue the 2015 JCPOA nuclear treaty despite the US withdrawal.

Milley’s statement came after London accused Tehran on Thursday of deploying 3 military vessels to impede the passage of a British Heritage 274-meter (899-foot) BP tanker.

They stated that they are worried about this action and will continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region.

Iran’s menacing of the BP supertanker on July 10, appeared to be in retaliation for Britain’s seizure of the Iranian Grace 1 tanker off Gibraltar on July 4.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards rejected participation in the British Heritage incident but said the United States and Britain would highly regret British detention of the full-loaded Iranian tanker off Gibraltar for breaking penalties on Syria, supposedly the scheduled recipient of its cargo.

Washington and Riyadh earlier blamed Iran for supposedly using limpet mines in May and June to blow holes in Gulf-area vessels, and Trump came close to ordering a retaliatory attack on Iran.

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