Posted on July 23, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The UK Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has proposed the creation of a European naval task force in order to protect commercial vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.
During a speech to the parliament on July the 22nd, Mr Hunt referenced Iran’s seizure of the British-flagged Oil Tanker, Stena Impero as an “act of state piracy”.
He went on to suggest that while the UK will try to engage in further diplomatic talks with Iran, the best course of action would be the formation of a joint naval task force in order to protect commercial vessels in the area.
“Under international law, Iran had no right to obstruct the ship’s passage – let alone board her. It was therefore an act of state piracy.
"If Iran continues on this dangerous path, they must accept the price will be a larger Western military presence in the waters along their coastline.
“We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region.
“Not because we wish to increase tensions but simply because freedom of navigation is a principle which Britain and its allies will always defend,” said Mr Hunt during his speech to the parliament.
The UK has now officially advised British-flagged vessels to not attempt to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, and to make sure that the British Royal Navy is notified should they attempt to do so.
Mr Hunt has suggested that they might start implementing alternative security procedures, such as Navy-escorted convoys through the Strait, in an effort to protect UK vessels transiting through the region.