A Signal To Iran: US Adds Forces In Persian Gulf As Iran Lawmakers Prepare To Close Strait Of Hormuz
By THOM SHANKER, ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER, The New York Times – “WASHINGTON — The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates.
The deployments are part of a long-planned effort to bolster the American military presence in the gulf region, in part to reassure Israel that in dealing with Iran, as one senior administration official put it last week, ‘When the president says there are other options on the table beyond negotiations, he means it.’
But at a moment that the United States and its allies are beginning to enforce a much broader embargo on Iran’s oil exports, meant to force the country to take seriously the negotiations over sharply limiting its nuclear program, the buildup carries significant risks, including that Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps could decide to lash out against the increased presence.
The most visible elements of this buildup are Navy ships designed to vastly enhance the ability to patrol the Strait of Hormuz — and to reopen the narrow waterway should Iran attempt to mine it to prevent Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters from sending their tankers through the vital passage.” Read more.
Iran lawmakers prepare to close Strait of Hormuz – “Iranian lawmakers have drafted a bill that would close the Strait of Hormuz for oil tankers heading to countries supporting current economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. ‘There is a bill prepared in the National Security and Foreign Policy committee of Parliament that stresses the blocking of oil tanker traffic carrying oil to countries that have sanctioned Iran,’ Iranian MP Ibrahim Agha-Mohammadi told reporters. ‘This bill has been developed as an answer to the European Union’s oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.’ Agha-Mohammadi said that 100 of Tehran’s 290 members of parliament had signed the bill as of Sunday.” Read more.