"UK could send military reinforcements to Gulf"

Photo: "UK could send military reinforcements to Gulf" / Iran

The UK could send military reinforcements to the Gulf if the dispute with Iran escalates, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said at a press conference in London following the annual round of talks between UK and Australian foreign and defence ministers, Huffington Post reported.

Hammond said the decision to send HMS Argyll as part of an international flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz on Sunday sent a "clear signal" to Tehran.

Iran has threatened to close the strait - through which 35% of the world's tanker-borne oil exports pass - in retaliation for sanctions against its oil exports.

Asked if more resources could be sent, Mr Hammond said: "The UK has a contingent capability to reinforce that presence should at any time it be considered necessary to do so."

Australia's foreign minister Kevin Rudd said his country would enforce the same ban on Iranian crude oil exports agreed by the European Union yesterday.

He and defence minister Stephen Smith will attend today's National Security Council meeting.

The move came after Britain joined the United States and France in sending a flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz as tensions escalate of over the regime's controversial nuclear programme.


Edited by: S. Isayev

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