A senior U.S. military official remarked that “we’ve taken on an international responsibility of ensuring freedom of navigation and the movement of oil in and out of the Gulf. That doesn’t mean it’s a U.S.-only problem. If we take this on as a U.S.-only responsibility, nations that benefit from that movement of oil through the Persian Gulf are bearing little or no responsibility for the economic benefit they gain from the movement of that oil”. He added that “we are now in a position where the bulk of that oil goes to … countries in Asia, and none of those countries have shown any predilection to pressing Iran to stop what they are doing”. He went on state that “I’m not suggesting for a moment that we don’t have a significant role to play in that space. But it will require an international consensus before force is used with one specific caveat: If the Iranians come after U.S. citizens, U.S. assets or U.S. military, we reserve the right to respond with a military action. They need to know that, it needs to be very clear”.
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