Europe welcomes UK’s Hormuz patrol proposal

Europe welcomes UK’s Hormuz patrol proposal

A host of European nations are coming out in support of the UK’s call for a naval coalition to assist merchant shipping through the troubled Strait of Hormuz.

France, Germany Italy, and Denmark have supported a UK plan to launch a European-led maritime mission in the waterway to boost the security of commercial navigation there after the seizure of the British flagged tanker Stena Impero by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran claims the tanker hit a local fishing vessel, something denied by owner Stena Bulk.

Stena Bulk revealed today it had been in contact by telephone with the 23 crew members of the Stena Impero last night and said they were all in good health. Britain has sent a mediator to Iran to try to negotiate the release of a UK-flagged tanker.

The UK is in discussions with other European nations over the coalition including Spain, the Netherlands and Poland.

Iran’s Grace 1 VLCC was taken by British armed forces off the coast of Gibraltar earlier in the month as the ship was deemed to be flouting EU sanctions against Syria.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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