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Britain wins early European support for Hormuz naval mission, Iran urges diplomacy

France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, three senior EU diplomats.

British foreign ministry and defense officials have also discussed a possible mission, which would likely involve not just ships but aircraft too, directly with their Italian, Spanish, French and German counterparts.

It was the first formal European meeting since British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt outlined the plans to parliament on Monday to protect the Strait, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes.

Iran has rejected the proposal and says foreign powers should leave securing shipping lanes to Tehran and others in the region. Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq export most of their crude via the Strait.

Iran will secure the Strait of Hormuz and not allow any disturbance in shipping in the key oil transport waterway, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said during a visit to Paris.

Senior Iranian officials have warned against any attempt to form an international coalition to protect shipping in the Gulf, with its first vice president saying the move will only bring insecurity to the region.

Senior Iranian officials have warned against any attempt to form an international coalition to protect shipping in the Gulf, with its first vice president saying the move will only bring insecurity to the region.

Britain raised the plan after Friday’s capture of the Stena Impero tanker by Iranian commandos at sea.

While Iran has accused the UK of detaining an Iranian tanker earlier this month off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in breach of EU sanction

 

 

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