Britain announced plans Monday to develop and deploy a Europe-led “maritime protection mission” to safeguard shipping in the vital Strait of Hormuz in light of the Iranian regime’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the waterway.
Briefing Parliament on the budding crisis, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused Iran’s regime of “an act of state piracy” that will be met with stern international resolve.
“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,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament.
He announced few details but said Britain’s European allies will play a major role keeping shipping lanes open. One-fifth of all global crude exports passes through the narrow strait between Iran and Oman.
“We will seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of crew and cargo in this vital region,” Hunt said.
“We have had constructive discussion with a number of countries in the last 48 hours and we will discuss later this week the best way to complement this with recent U.S. proposals in this area.”