The US has proposed establishing an international coalition to ensure maritime security in the Persian Gulf against the backdrop of spiralling US-Iran tensions and volatile incidents in the Gulf; the UK is signing up for the initiative.
The UK dispatched the warship HMS Kent to the Persian Gulf on Monday as part of the US-led Maritime Security Mission in the area.
The mission will see the Royal Navy working alongside the US Navy to purportedly ensure the security of merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened political tension with Iran.
“Our focus in the Gulf remains firmly one of de-escalating the current tensions. But we are committed to upholding freedom of navigation and reassuring international shipping, which this deployment on operations aims to do,”said Andy Brown, the ship’s commanding officer.
The Kent will be relieving another British ship, the Duncan, which is already working in the region.
US-led Maritime Security Mission in Gulf
On 5 August Britain signed onto the US tanker escort mission, with UK officials stressing, however, that there was no change to London’s policy on Iran and that it would not be joining Washington’s sanctions targeting Tehran.
“It is vital to secure the freedom for all international shipping to navigate the Strait of Hormuz without delay, given the increased threat.The deployment of Royal Navy assets is a sign of our commitment to our UK flagged vessels and we look forward to working alongside the US and others…