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Britain has been keeping track of US actions with respect to Iran, so when a British oil tanker was seized by Iran last week, one of the first moves Britain made was to ask the US to avoid saber rattling or making inflammatory public statements.
That’s such a default response for the Trump Administration that it’s not clear they’d even recognize the difference. US officials are now pushing for everyone to rush warships to the Strait of Hormuz to protect tankers going forward.
While US officials are presenting this as a new program called Sentinel, the reality is that this is the exact same idea the US has been pushing for weeks, where the US gets other countries to commit warships, but the US gets to command them entirely.
It’s clear why the US likes this idea, but everyone else has consistently rejected the idea. The “threat” the US is playing up of Iran in the Gulf and Strait is seen as virtually non-existent, and even the capture of the British ship is going to be seen by most as tit-for-tat for Britain seizing an Iranian ship.