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7/11, 6:13 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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US wants naval escort for ships in Gulf - Pentagon official

The United States and its allies are planning to ensure their commercial ships in the Persian Gulf get "military escort" after Iran allegedly attempted to seize a British vessel, the AFP reported on Thursday citing senior Pentagon official General Mark Milley. "I think that that will be developing over the next couple weeks," Milley, who is nominated to become the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate hearing.

Meanwhile, United Kingdom security sources told media that Britain raised its ship security in the region due to a "heightened risk" but insisted the UK will not escort every British-flagged ship through the Strait of Hormuz. "We will be resolute in defending UK maritime interests in the Gulf but we have absolutely no interest in escalating the situation with Iran," a UK source said as cited by Reuters.

Tensions between the UK and Iran rose after Britain captured an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar last week, claiming it had violated European Union sanctions against Syria. Spain claimed the UK seized the ship after the US demanded such action. Tehran denied the vessel was headed to Syria and vowed to respond to the "foolish" move. However, Iran insisted it did not try to detain the British tanker, as reported by American media.

Breaking the News / NP