UK calls for broad support to tackle Gulf shipping threats

LONDON (Reuters) – Foreign Minister Dominic Raab will call for more international support to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz when he meets his French and German counterparts later on Friday for talks about Iran.

Last month, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the strait, the Gulf’s outlet to the open seas, in apparent retaliation for Britain’s seizure in Gibraltar of an Iranian ship accused of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Britain joined a U.S.-led mission to escort merchant vessels through the Strait of Hormuz at the start of August but Germany and France declined to take part amid fears that it could increase the chance of open conflict with Iran.

“We…need the broadest international support possible to tackle the threats to international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz,” Raab said in a statement before he attends a meeting of European foreign ministers in Helsinki.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a possible separate European maritime defence operation would be discussed in Helsinki, though her foreign minister Heiko Maas previously acknowledged it would be slow to get off the ground.

French defence minister Florence Parly told AFP on Thursday that she would back an EU-led “dissuasive presence”.

Last week, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said international waterways would be less secure if his country’s oil exports faced complete sanctions.

Raab reiterated Britain’s commitment, alongside Germany and France, to a 2015 nuclear deal that U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of last year, reimposing sanctions on Iran.

“The nuclear deal is the only deal on the table that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and we will continue working together to encourage Iran to uphold the agreement in full,” Raab said.

READ  Coronavirus live updates: China reports 109 more deaths as total cases cross 76,000

The 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers, reached under former U.S. President Barack Obama, aimed to curb Iran’s disputed uranium enrichment programme in exchange for the lifting of many international sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said on Monday at a G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he might be willing to meet Rouhani in the coming weeks to end confrontation over the deal.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here