John Kirby, spokesman for the US National Security Council, announced on Friday that The United States will strengthen its military presence in the Persian Gulf after Iran intercepted two ships in the Strait of Hormuz, a usual focus of tensions and a strategic point for the transport of fuel.
“The United States will not allow foreign or regional powers to jeopardize the freedom of navigation through the waterways of the Middle East, including the Strait of Hormuz,” Kirby told a news conference. “Today, the Department of Defense will take a number of steps to strengthen our defensive posture” in the area, he added.
Kirby explained that “There is simply no justification” for Iranian actions, which seek to “interfere, harass or attack” ships in the region. And he indicated that the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) “will provide additional details” about the increase in its troops in the region “in the coming days.”
The US Fifth Fleet denounced in early May that a foreign-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz was intercepted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy and forced to move towards the coast, according to the Iranian news agency. tasnim.
The Fifth Fleet also specified that it was the second incident of this type in the last week and denounced that “during the last two years, Iran has harassed, attacked or interfered with the navigation rights of 15 foreign-flagged merchant ships.”
“We have seen repeated Iranian threats, weapons seizures, and attacks against commercial carriers exercising their rights and freedoms of navigation in international waters and strategic waterways in the region,” Kirby said at the press conference.
And he remarked: “The United States does not seek a conflict or an escalation with Iranbut we are committed to responding to the Iranian aggression together with our global allies and partners in the Middle East region to ensure freedom of navigation to the Strait of Hormuz and other vital waterways.”
The US Fifth Fleet – in charge of monitoring the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and Central Asia area – added in a statement that it was “working with allies and partners in the region to increase the rotations of ships and planes” that patrol the Strait of Hormuz.
(With information from AFP, EFE and EuropaPress)
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