U.S. Naval Central Command announced that “U.S. 5th Fleet is working with regional allies and partners to increase the rotation of ships and aircraft patrolling in and around the Strait of Hormuz following Iran’s recent unlawful merchant vessel seizures”, in addition to “bolstering international maritime security collaboration among the International Maritime Security Construct and European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz”. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson on 17 May insisted that “the new accusations against Iran… are aimed at justifying the continuation or intensification of interventionist presence in the region”. He went on to assert that “the presence and destabilising actions of American forces double Iran’s responsibility in ensuring the security of the region and the Strait of Hormuz and in dealing with lawbreakers”, adding: “Iran considers the continued presence of foreign military forces in the waters of the Persian Gulf as a threat to the security of navigation in this strategic waterway”.
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