US Navy in military build-up to battle Strait of Hormuz ‘blockade’
16 Mar, 2012 12:09
The US Navy has confirmed it is doubling the number of minesweepers in the Persian Gulf in an apparent move to prepare for a possible standoff with Iran over the crucial oil export route.
An additional four minesweeper and four minesweeping helicopters will join the four ships already patrolling the Persian Gulf.The overall number of US minesweepers in the region will total eight, America’s head of naval operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert reported. While saying sanctions and political measures are preferable to respond to Iran’s controversial nuclear program, looks like the US is getting ready for plan B.The US has been working of an array of military measures to counteract Iran, with President Obama saying “no options are off the table.”The Pentagon has recently asked for an additional $100 million dollars to beef up its military presence in the Persian Gulf. About one fifth of the world’s oil passes through The Strait of Hormuz.Earlier Tehran promised to block the primary route of oil exports from the region in retaliation to new US and EU-backed sanctions against the Islamic Republic.In January, General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed Iran indeed has the ability to block the Strait of Hormuz “for a period of time,” and the US must get ready to reopen it in case of a blockade.