• Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Britain Deploys Warship in Gulf, to Maintain Presence Amid Iran Tensions

Discussion in 'Middle East & Africa' started by The SC, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. The SC

    The SC ELITE MEMBER

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    Friday, 12 July, 2019 - 13:30
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    British warship HMS Duncan’s rotation into the Gulf was moved forward by a number of days as tensions with Iran mounted. (AFP)

    London- Asharq Al-Awsat

    Britain said on Friday it would deploy the destroyer HMS Duncan warship to the Gulf to replace HMS Montrose, maintaining a continuous presence there during a time of heightened tension in the region.

    Relations between Tehran and the West have been increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar.

    HMS Montrose was forced to warn off three fast Iranian gunboats on Wednesday that UK officials said were trying to "impede" the progress of a British supertanker through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf.

    Iranian officials have denied the incident ever happened.

    “As part of our long-standing presence in the Gulf, HMS Duncan is deploying to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose comes off task for pre-planned maintenance and crew change over,” the government said.

    “This will ensure that the UK alongside international partners can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping.”

    Sky News television reported that HMS Duncan would not be part of the international military escort team for vessels in the Gulf proposed on Thursday by the United States.

    HMS Duncan is an air defense destroyer that carries a set of heavy Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a crew in excess of 280.

    The BBC reported that it had reached Turkey's Bosphorus Strait as it makes its way from the Black Sea through the Suez Canal to the Gulf.

    The Strait of Hormuz episode occurred a week after UK Royal Marines helped the Gibraltar authorities detain an Iranian tanker that US officials believe was trying to deliver oil to Syria in violation of separate sets of EU and US sanctions.

    Iran has bristled at the arrest and issued a series of increasingly ominous warnings to both the United States and Britain about its right to take unspecified actions in reprisal.

    UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called on Friday for "cool heads" to prevail as threats mount and Iran's response to its growing isolation -- and economic suffering from US sanctions -- becomes increasingly unpredictable.

    "We want to do everything we can to make sure that we don't have an unintended escalation which could be very dangerous for the world," Hunt said.


    https://aawsat.com/english/home/art...hip-gulf-maintain-presence-amid-iran-tensions
     
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