Divisions have emerged over plans for a European naval mission in the Persian Gulf, with Britain suggesting the operation would need US support while France and Germany insist it stay independent of America.
In a first sign that the UK may move closer to the US position on Iran under Boris Johnson, the new foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said a European mission was probably not “viable” without American help.
“I think we do want to see a European-led approach, but that doesn’t seem to me to be viable without American support as well,” Mr Raab told The Times.
That marks a shift from Jeremy Hunt, Mr Raab’s predecessor, who proposed a European naval mission separate from America’s Operation Sentinel.
Both missions are intended to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats but the US-led operation is widely seen in Europe as part of Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” to force Iranian capitulation on nuclear and regional issues.