U.K. and Iran Strengthen Military Positions

HMS Defender
HMS Defender

Published Aug 25, 2019 6:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.K. government confirmed on Saturday that the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender will join efforts to support the safe passage of shipping in the Middle East.

This third deployment of a vessel will ensure that the U.K. has the flexibility to continually commit a vessel to the international mission, said the Royal Navy in a statement. HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, remains stationed in the region and has so far completed more than 30 transits of the Strait. HMS Defender sailed from Portsmouth on August 12, alongside HMS Kent.

Tensions remain in the region after Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, landed in Biarritz, France, on Sunday afternoon to speak with France's President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of this year's G7 meeting involving the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan.

Zarif did not meet U.S. President Donald Trump, who was also at the G7 meeting. The U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran after pulling out of an international deal to soften sanctions in return for Iran curbing its nuclear program. Macron has been urging the U.S. to soften its stance.

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that talks are useless as he unveiled the Bavar-373, a long-range surface-to-air missile system. "Now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic," Rouhani said. The Bavar-373 is apparently capable of recognizing up to 100 targets simultaneously and responding with six different weapons.

However, Zarif tweeted more positively about his meeting with Marcon.