Iran on Sunday slammed as “provocative” a British proposal for a European-led naval mission to escort tankers in the Gulf, amid soaring tensions over the seizure of ships. Britain said on Monday it was planning a European-led force to escort tankers through the world’s busiest oil shipping lane in response to Iran’s seizure of a UK-flagged vessel on July 19. In his comments on Sunday, the government spokesman said Iran believed the security of the oil-rich Gulf had to be maintained by countries in the region. Britain on Thursday ordered its navy to escort UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, where the Stena Impero was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. France said on Thursday it was not willing to send extra military assets to the Gulf, but would share information and coordinate its currently deployed assets.
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