Persian Gulf: German media and politicians sound the alarm

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Adhere or not to join the so-called European coalition to secure navigation in the Persian Gulf. This is the issue that is now controversial in the German Federal Government.

Although France, Italy and Denmark have declared their readiness to participate, Germany has not yet given a clear answer.

While members of the party Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) gave the green light to the British plan, other parties including and especially the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have seriously rejected.

“The question of a German military mission in the Strait of Hormuz does not even hold,” said Nils Schmid, top SPD member, in an interview with the newspaper Die Tageszeitung .

For his part, Roderich Kiesewetter of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) told the same newspaper that “the European maritime coalition could prove effective”. “Berlin could participate by sending ships and reconnaissance aircraft,” he also said.

Similarly, former German Greens leader Jürgen Trittin believes that a German contribution to the European coalition should have no other purpose than to ease tensions [in the Persian Gulf].

In an interview with Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, however, he said that disputes in the Persian Gulf should be resolved through diplomatic channels and dialogue. “Without the approval of the United Nations, the European maritime coalition will not be justifiable,” he said.

After the British tanker Stena Impero was arrested by Iran because of the violation of the International Maritime Code, London proposed to the European countries to form a military coalition to ensure the safety of their tankers in the waters of the Persian Gulf.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin would make a decision on the matter once the details of the British initiative are known. He said, however, that Germany would not join the US maximum pressure campaign against Iran.

According to the newspaper Die Tageszeitung , the situation in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf remains very delicate. The newspaper quotes the new German Defense Minister, Christian Democrat Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, where she pleads for diplomacy and advises against settling military accounts.

“Launching a European maritime coalition will not help the easing of tensions,” the paper writes. Acknowledging European breaches of their promise to facilitate trade with Iran despite US sanctions, Die Tageszeitung added that a closure by Iran of the Strait of Hormuz will have huge negative impacts on the global economy. “A third of the world’s oil transit is through this strait,” says the newspaper, adding:

“The confirmation of the British proposal would be a bad answer from Europe. By allowing itself to be carried away by Boris Johnson’s adventurist projects, the Federal Republic of Germany will come under pressure in Iran in worse conditions: neither Germany nor Europe will have any interest in such a situation.”

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