U.S. Supports European Efforts to Secure Strait of Hormuz from Iranian Acts of Hostility While Deploying Own Initiative, Operation Sentinel

  • As the U.S. moves forward with securing the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian acts of hostility, the State Department is “very supportive” of Europe’s efforts to protect ships traveling through the waterway where about 1/5 of the world’s oil passes through yearly.
  • Morgan Ortagus, the State Department’s spokesperson, said: “We welcome any effort by the Europeans, by our allies, by our partners.”
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “Every country that has an interest in ensuring that those waterways are open and crude oil and other products can flow through the Strait of Hormuz needs to participate to protect, not only their own interest, but the fundamental understanding of free and open waterways.”
  • According to the Pentagon, “U.S. Central Command hosted senior representatives from allied nations Thursday at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida to discuss the U.S. initiative, Operation Sentinel.”
  • A senior U.S. official said that last week, “the State Department briefed about 100 diplomats from around 60 countries to discuss the U.S. operation.”
  • After the briefing, Iran seized a tanker owned by a British shipping company, which prompted the U.K. to announce “the British navy will now escort British-flagged ships through the Strait.”
  • The Trump administration has repeatedly warned that other countries need to provide more funds to properly secure the strait.
  • The Trump administration’s Iranian policy differs from the rest of its European allies since Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year whereas the U.K., Germany and France are still trying to salvage the deal.
  • The European nations have opted not to join the U.S.’ “maximum pressure campaign against Iran.”
  • Meanwhile, Iran is also claiming it is securing the Strait of Hormuz, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying: “The whole world should be thankful to the Revolutionary Guard for maintaining the security in the Strait of Hormuz.”

Reference Links

  • Fox: US building coalition to protect ships crossing Persian Gulf READ
  • Sputnik International: Why Does US Need Naval Coalition to Patrol Strait of Hormuz? READ
  • The Nation: US invited EU, Asian countries to join coalition to secure Strait of Hormuz READ
  • Laredo Morning Times: Pompeo asked Japan, others to join coalition to secure Strait of Hormuz READ

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