Stoltenberg says no NATO mission requested in Strait of Hormuz

TEHRAN, Jul. 31 (MNA) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday there had been no formal request for the military alliance to launch a mission in the Strait of Hormuz, according to a report.

The United States has proposed stepping up efforts to increase presence in the vital oil route at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Tehran, which the United States is to blame. 

It was reported yesterday that the United States had officially requested Germany, France and the UK to join its military mission in the Persian Gulf to combat what it claimed to be 'Iranian aggression.' 

Meanwhile, the German government has not offered any contribution to a US naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz but thinks it is 'worth considering' a European mission and is in touch with its partners on that, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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. 

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed last night in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart that Iran is the main guarantor and protector of stability and security in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz as well as the Sea of Oman.

Rouhani said that Iran will not start any tension, while it will vigorously defend itself in the face of any future tensions.

KI/PR

News Code 148313

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