Europeans stall on mission to protect tankers in Gulf after Raab calls for joint patrols with US

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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.   



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