Critics point to irony of UK calling on EU support while heading for Brexit
'Plans for a European-led maritime security force in the Gulf unveiled by the UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, hit choppy waters as the plan was rejected by Iran, met resistance from supporters of the incoming prime minister, Boris Johnson, and was seen by British shipping industry experts as not providing a short-term solution to the crisis facing UK-flagged shipping in the Gulf.
On Monday, Hunt unveiled a plan for a European-led maritime security force, making clear he regarded a proposed rival plan for a US force as likely to be seen by the Iranians as an escalatory step, partly since Washington opposes the Iran nuclear deal.
America’s rejection of the Iran deal in May 2018 has set off a chain of slow-motion events culminating in the seizure last Friday of the British flagged ship Stena Impero. Hunt condemned the Iranian seizure as an act of state piracy.
The Iranian vice-president, Eshaq Jahangiri, said any international coalition to protect the Gulf would bring only insecurity. “There is no need to form a coalition because these kinds of coalitions and the presence of foreigners in the region by itself creates insecurity,” he said. “And other than increasing insecurity it will not achieve anything else.”
Iran has dispatched one of its most senior diplomats, Abbas Araghchi, to Paris for talks with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, in a bid to find a way out of the impasse. He is said to be carrying a written message from Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president.
Iran said it would attend a Sunday meeting in Vienna of diplomats from countries still supporting the 2015 nuclear deal, as they try to salvage the agreement.'
Read more: Iran rejects UK's proposal for European-led maritime force