US asks Germany to join naval force in Gulf

TEHRAN, Jul. 30 (MNA) – Washington has officially requested Berlin’s contribution to a US-led naval force in the Persian Gulf, according to German media.

"We have officially asked Germany to assist, together with France and the UK, to maintain security of the Strait of Hormuz and counter Iranian aggression," a US official was quoted as saying by the German press agency DPA, according to Turkish Anadolu Agency. 

Last week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin had yet to take a final decision on joining an international coalition to protect commercial ships in the region.

Furthermore, UK has called for a European-led maritime mission to ensure safe passage around the Persian Gulf, following Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker last week.

According to German News Service (DW), Germany's coalition government is split over whether to contribute to the UK's proposed mission to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. The Social Democrats say military options would only escalate the conflict.

Earlier this month, Iran seized a UK-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz for violating international maritime rules, while the UK had previously captured an Iranian supertanker in the Gibraltar. Iran has condemned the British seizure of the 'Grace 1' as 'piracy' and demanded the ship be freed.

KI/FNA13980508000770

News Code 148269

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