Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Iran Watching All U.S. Ships In Gulf - Keeping Records Of Movements

Iran says it's watching all US ships in Gulf, keeping record of their movements

The head of Iran’s navy said Tuesday that Tehran is observing all US ships in the Gulf region and keeps an archive of their movements.
“We observe all enemy ships, particularly (those of) America, point-by-point from their origin until the moment they enter the region,” Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said, according to a report on Iran’s Young Journalists news site, cited by Reuters.
“We have complete images and a large archive of the daily and moment-by-moment traffic of the coalition forces and America,” Khandazi added, noting that the images of the vessels were captured using drones.

The senior naval officer also said that Iran will hold joint naval exercises with “allied countries” for the first time in March 2020, without specifying which nations would take part in the exercises.
Khandazi’s statement came amid elevated tensions in the Gulf after Iranian authorities seized a British-flagged tanker there on Friday.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday said the UK wanted to establish a European-led maritime protection force for the Gulf but emphasized that London was not seeking a confrontation.

“We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support the safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region,” Hunt told parliament.

Hunt described Friday’s incident as an act of “state piracy.”
Hunt also said that a British warship, HMS Duncan, that is being dispatched to the region, would arrive by July 29, joining the HMS Montrose currently in the Gulf.
According to the foreign secretary, all British-flagged ships would be asked to give the British authorities notice when they plan to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, where Friday’s incident happened, “to enable us to offer the best protection we can.”
But he added: “It is, of course, not possible for the Royal Navy to provide escorts for every single ship or indeed eliminate all risks of piracy.”
As the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers unravels, the US has expanded its military presence in the region, while Iran has begun openly exceeding the uranium enrichment levels set in the accord to try to pressure Europe into alleviating the pain caused by the sanctions.

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