Sep 18, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(IB TIMES)British warships have joined a major naval exercise in the Persian Gulf as tensions between Israel and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear power programme increase.
British forces are taking part in a joint operation conducted by the navies of more than 30 countries to sweep the area – a major transit point of maritime trade – clean of mines.
“The UK is committed to a standing presence in the Gulf to ensure freedom of navigation in international waters such as the Straits of Hormuz,” said defence secretary Philip Hammond.
“Disruption to sailing in the strait would threaten regional and economic growth. Any attempt by Iran to do this would be illegal and unsuccessful.”
The show of strength in exercises that include naval deployment by Saudi Arabia, the US and France was designed to warn off Tehran from contemplating disrupting trade routes in the ongoing diplomatic poker game over its nuclear ambitions and Israel’s threat of a strike.