Monday, May 4, 2015

U.S Navy Steps Up Mideast Presence

U.S. Ships travel alongside one another during a formation 
and maneuvers exercise in the Persian Gulf in 2014. Three of 
the vessels and the destroyer USS Farragut were patrolling 
the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, April 29, 2015
In Response to Iran, Warships accompany American Vessels
The U.S. Navy has begun accompanying American-flagged ships in the Strait of Hormuz, defense officials said on Thursday, in response to Iran’s seizure of a Marshall Islands-flagged ship this week in the gateway to the Persian Gulf.
U.S. Warships Will Accompany American Merchant Ships 
Through Strait of Hormuz
Navy warships are providing greater protection for U.S.-flagged vessels moving through the narrow strait where Iranian patrol boats confronted and took control of the M/V Maersk Tigris on Tuesday.
Tensions in the Gulf are bringing further uncertainty to U.S. efforts to forge a nuclear agreement with Iran by a June 30 diplomatic deadline.
While Iran characterized its seizure of the cargo ship as the outgrowth of an unresolved financial dispute, American military officials said they saw it as a provocative show of force by Tehran.
On Thursday, after the Pentagon informed President Barack Obama about the plan, Navy ships started offering stepped-up security for American ships moving in and out of the Persian Gulf, defense officials said.
“Out of an abundance of caution, because of the unpredictability of our Iranian friends, we’re now positioned so that, should the Iranians decide that they’re going to be stupid, we’re ready to respond,” said one U.S. official.
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