Iran angrily rejects Britain's plan for a European Gulf mission

Mail Online | 7/23/2019 | Tim Stickings For Mailonline
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Jeremy Hunt was met with anger from Iran and mockery in parts of Europe today after he called on his continental allies to defend Gulf shipping.

Britain's Foreign Secretary last night suggested a 'Europe-led maritime protection mission' to counter Iran's threats amid a spiralling Middle East crisis.

Tehran - Series - Threats - UK - Shipping

Tehran has made a series of threats to UK shipping, culminating in the seizure of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.

Today Iran warned that Mr Hunt's plan would cause 'insecurity' and warned incoming PM Boris Johnson to stay out of Iranian waters.

Europhiles - France - Belgium - Opportunity - Britain

Meanwhile, Europhiles in France and Belgium seized on the opportunity to mock Britain's sudden enthusiasm for European co-operation - just as the UK government battles to get Brexit over the line.

European leaders have mostly been silent in public on Mr Hunt's plan, perhaps aware that his words are about to be overtaken by the UK's imminent change of government.

Mr - Hunt - Foreign - Secretary - Boris

Mr Hunt may well be replaced as Foreign Secretary when Boris Johnson forms his new Cabinet tomorrow.

A source in the German foreign ministry said minister Heiko Maas was 'in close contact with his British and French colleagues regarding the question of how Europe can contribute to security in the Persian Gulf'.

'This - Approaches - Safety - Source

'This also includes possible diplomatic and civil approaches to maritime safety,' the source said.

Meanwhile, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt - a cheerleader for European integration - welcomed what he called a 'European Naval Force'.

Language - Co-operation - Mr - Hunt - House

His language went considerably further that the co-operation which Mr Hunt had suggested in the House of Commons yesterday., and could add fuel to the longstanding concerns of British Eurosceptics about an EU military force.

Congratulating Mr Johnson on his victory, French leader Emmanuel Macron said he would discuss Iran with the new PM.

Party - Colleague - Nathalie - Loiseau

His party colleague Nathalie Loiseau...
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