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War with Iran now more likely, activists warn

A DISASTROUS war with Iran has “just got more likely,” peace campaigners warned today.

The Stop the War Coalition spoke out after the British government said its warships in the Persian Gulf would join a US armada, rather than a less hawkish European fleet.

Coalition vice-chair Chris Nineham told the Morning Star:“Sending more warships to the Straits of Hormuz will only ramp up tensions.

“The fact that this is a US-led mission makes it even more alarming.

“Unfortunately, war with Iran just got more likely.”

Rookie Defence Secretary Ben Wallace MP said on Monday: “The deployment of Royal Navy assets is a sign of our commitment to our UK-flagged vessels and we look forward to working alongside the US and others to find an international solution to the problems in the Strait of Hormuz.”

Two warships, HMS Duncan and HMS Montrose, were already in the Gulf when the announcement was made, alongside smaller minesweepers that operate from a British base in Bahrain.

HMS Duncan is a Type 45 destroyer that has been dogged with engine problems in hot weather.

Tensions with Iran escalated after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from an international nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

The US then fed intelligence to British marines who impounded an Iranian ship, causing Iran to reciprocate.

The importance of oil in the dispute is openly discussed, with a British government press release on Monday stating: “The Strait of Hormuz is the busiest narrow shipping passage in the world and a vital transit zone, with 20 per cent of the world’s oil passing through it every year.”

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