Romania might join the EU-led security mission in the Persian Gulf
Romania is among the countries that might take part in the next European navy mission mobilised in the Persian Gulf to counter Iran’s actions, sources told France Presse news agency and Die Welt.
The move comes amid a tense standoff of UK with Iran over the seizure of two tankers – the detention of the Iranian-controlled VLCC Grace 1 by UK Royal Marines on July 4 and the capture of the UK-flagged Stena Impero by Iranian commandos on July 19.
UK has officially presented the EU partners on Tuesday evening the proposal to send a navy security mission in the Persian Gulf. According to diplomatic sources quoted by the above-mentioned media outlets, the countries that consider joining this mission are Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Sweden.
France has already announced that it is endorsing the Great Britain’s initiative, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is in touch with UK and France on the potential European security mission. However, Berlin has not yet decided any military contribution in this respect.
May’s government has called on Iran to release the Swedish-owned, Indian-crewed Impero, though foreign minister Jeremy Hunt has explicitly ruled out the possibility of military action. Likewise, Iran has called for Britain (via the government of Gibraltar) to release the Grace 1, but has also emphasized that it does not want confrontation. Both nations have described the seizures as acts of “piracy.”
In a post on social media Tuesday, Iranian foreign minister Zavad Jarif warned that Iran will defend its interests. “Iran does not seek confrontation,” Zarif wrote. “But we have 1500 miles of Persian Gulf coastline. These are our waters and we will protect them.”