All tagged United Kingdom
◢ Britain said Monday it will join forces with the United States to protect merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions with Iran, after Tehran taunted Washington that its allies were too "ashamed" to join the mission. Britain's decision to form the joint maritime taskforce with the United States marks a departure in policy under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
◢ Iran’s seizure and continued detention of a UK-flagged tanker deals Boris Johnson an immediate loyalty test: Britain's new prime minister may have to choose between Persian Gulf escorts led by Europe or by the United States. Which way Johnson leans could set the tone for a complex agenda that includes withdrawing from the European Union and striking a trade deal with the United States.
◢ A top Iranian diplomat expressed disappointment on Sunday after meeting a British Foreign Office minister amid escalating regional tensions, saying their talks were "repetitive", state news agency IRNA reported. Minister of State for the Middle East Andrew Murrison had the "usual talking points", said Kamal Kharazi, the head of the Strategic Council of Foreign Relations at Iran's foreign ministry.
◢ U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo fired a broadside of criticism at the U.K.’s approach to national security, demanding America’s long-standing ally takes a far tougher approach to China and Iran, and to hurry up and deliver Brexit. His criticism comes at a particularly sensitive time for Prime Minister Theresa May, who is struggling to complete Britain’s divorce from the European Union and under daily pressure to resign.