The German government has declined to participate in a U.S.-led coalition in the Persian Gulf. The purpose of the coalition is aimed keeping the shipping lanes open. That would ensure the uninterrupted flow of oil. It will combat Iran’s repeated hijacking attempts. Iran and Britain have been engaged in a tit for tat with international oil tankers. The dispute is spreading as Iran continues to up the ante.
Threatening the flow of Oil…
Regardless where it started, tensions are escalating in the Straits of Hormuz. Hormuz is the narrow shipping lane at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. It is essential to continued smooth flow of international shipping of Middle East oil. Germany and France have declined requests from the US administration to join the military coalition. The purpose of the coalition is to retain order in the area amid increasingly hostile acts.
The U.S. Maritime Administration this week issued a warning to all shipping. It alleges Iran is using increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks to jam ships’ GPS. It also asserts Iran is also spoofing, which is trying to mimic communications from American military vessels. Iran is doing what it can to lure shipping out of international waters and into Iranian territorial water.
The continued volatility in the region threatens to ignite a hot war. Iranian military leaders have lashed out at the U.S. administration’s efforts. Iran claims they could spark a wider regional war.
Iran continues to hold hostage a British tanker ship it captured in the area. There are concerns for the welfare of the crew. The Iranians took the crew hostage nearly three weeks ago. Germany’s refusal to join the American coalition in the Persian Gulf emboldens Iran. It demonstrates to the Iranian regime the West is not unified. It is unwilling to respond to Iran’s increasingly aggressive actions.
Other related actions…
Germany and France have sought to preserve their submission to Iran on the nuclear deal. They have helped Iran skirt the U.S. administration’s economic sanctions. Their refusal to join the U.S. coalition seeking to maintain order in the Persian Gulf is an affront to the U.S. and NATO.
At this point it is clear Germany does not care about freedom of international navigation. They are very clear they will commit no resources to protect it. That is unfortunate and unexpected. German officials rationalize their position by biting concerns of being drawn into a larger military confrontation. They, of all nations, should grasp that appeasement does not work.
Germany’s refusal conflicts with its promises to aid international efforts to stop Tehran’s terrorism. Berlin’s refusal to help comes against the backdrop of increasingly provocative Iranian military moves. It is likely a domestic concession to Germany’s large and growing Muslim minority.