The US government has already expressed confidence that they will be able to convince their European and Asian allies to support the US-led maritime security mission in the Strait of Hormuz, which sits at the very mouth of the Persian Gulf. Unfortunately, Germany and Japan have rejected the American request for the US-led naval security mission, except for Great Britain, which has just announced plans to join their big American allies.

Security in the Persian Gulf has been further tightened after the Revolutionary naval forces announced that they had seized a UAE-based oil tanker, MT Riah for allegedly smuggling oil to foreign buyers.

As a result of this increased tension, the United States has decided to increase its military presence in the region, deploying a number of both air and naval assets.

British join the naval mission

According to reports, Britain will be joining the US-led naval security mission in the Gulf region as a part of the international effort to protect ships from seizures by the Iranian military. Britain will be sending two Royal Navy ships, the destroyer HMS Duncan and the frigate HMS Montrose. The HMS Duncan is an 8000-ton destroyer equipped with anti-air and anti-ship missiles, while the HMS Montrose is a 4950 tons frigate armed with anti-submarine torpedoes, anti-air, and anti-ship missiles. Both warships are now in the region.

In a recent interview with the media, Britain’s Ministry of Defense detailed that the country’s naval contingent will draw largely on naval assets already in the Gulf region. He also added that the British Royal Navy will work alongside their big American allies to ensure the security and safety of the merchant ships passing in the Strait of Hormuz, which carries around 20 percent of the global oil trade, making it one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

In addition to the two warships, Britain has also expressed plans to send a nuclear-powered submarine and a number of Royal Marine commandos to boost its presence in the region. The country is reportedly working on a European-led naval operation that will help protect international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. The UK-based The Independent reported that the British government has also talked with a number of their European allies.

And many European allies have expressed interest in supporting a European naval operation in the region, according to the UK website.

Britain has provided every British-flagged ship a naval escort since the Iranian’s seizure of Stena Impero, a British-flagged oil tanker, last July. The Iranian military reportedly launched a gunboat and helicopter raid on the British tanker. The British government described the Iranian action as an act of state piracy. Other believe that the recent seizure of the British oil tanker (Stena Impero) was retaliation for the seizure of the Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, a British-controlled outpost on the southernmost coast of Spain.

How the Gulf tension started

Tension in the Persian Gulf region first started after US President Donald Trump imposed economic sanctions on Iran following the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The US then began a massive military buildup in the region to contain Iran and its military might. The news about the new naval security mission comes after the US called for a US-led naval security mission that will help protect shipping in the region against the latest Iranian threats.

The US has requested Britain, Japan, Germany, and other European nations to join the US-led naval security mission. The moves are the latest in the never-ending drama and tension in the Persian Gulf region. Last week, the US announced sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, just a month after President Donald Trump announced similar sanctions against Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The United States has even escalated its campaign in the region, adopting what US President Donald Trump calls as the maximum pressure strategy on the Islamic state. However, European nations have not expressed support for the American maximum pressure strategy. Instead, they distanced themselves from the big American allies.