UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — A senior Pentagon official said on Wednesday that he would hold consultations with NATO member states on the deployment of a protection force in the Gulf.
The official said that the consultations “are aimed at determining the readiness of NATO naval forces to activate the military presence in the waters of the Gulf.”
The aim of the force was “to protect maritime navigation in international waters”, he added.
He also stressed that Washington’s only desire in this regard is to “raise the readiness of the deterrent force,” pointing out the possibility of “strengthening the presence of military forces in some Gulf states.”
In this regard, the US official pointed to the work of Washington currently to activate the capabilities of the base, “Prince Sultan” air in central Saudi Arabia.
The comments came hours after the completion of security and military meetings expanded at the headquarters of the US Central Command “Centcom”, Florida.
The meetings were attended by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Joint Chiefs of Staff Staff, Gen. Joe Danford, Commandant of CENTCOM, General Kenneth Mackenzie, and Special Operations of General Richard Clarke.
The tension has recently escalated between the United States and Gulf states on the one hand, and Iran on the other, following Tehran’s reduction of some of its obligations under the multilateral nuclear agreement in 2015.
Tehran took the step, one year after the United States pulled out of the agreement and imposed sanctions Stressing Tehran, to force it to renegotiate its nuclear program, in addition to its missile program.
Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, also accuse Iran of targeting Gulf oil vessels and installations, which Tehran denied and offered to sign a “non-aggression” pact with the Gulf states.
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