France, Italy and Denmark gave the initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker on 23 July. This was reported by Euractiv with the reference to three senior EU diplomats.
The cautious backing at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels contrasts sharply with the lukewarm response shown by European allies to a similar American call first voiced by NATO in late June, when countries feared they could make US-Iranian tensions worse.
“Britain’s request, rather than Washington’s, makes it easier for Europeans to rally round this,” one senior EU diplomat said. “Freedom of navigation is essential, this is separate from the US campaign of maximum pressure on Iran.”
Britain raised the plan after Friday’s capture of the Stena Impero tanker by Iranian commandos at sea.
The Netherlands is also assessing the British proposal, while a Spanish official said Madrid has held talks with London and was studying the idea.
As it was reported earlier, the governments and leaders of the UK, France and Germany made a joint statement, asking the U.S. and Iran to restore the dialogue for the sake of stopping the escalation over the nuclear deal.
Besides, German, French and American leaders condemned the attacks that occurred in the Persian Gulf and other locations and expressed concerns about the worsening security situation in the region.