…on the matter of helping protect freedom of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz and, presumably, up into the Arabian Gulf.
Great Britain, in an effort that parallels the US’ efforts, is proposing a European naval mission to the region to protect European oil tankers. Germany isn’t sure. On the one hand, Norbert Röttgen, Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman, says
Our prosperity lives on free shipping. And we have to make clear that we stand alongside our British friends, partners and allies who are affected. There must be joint European action.
But the US might be involved, so he dithers:
Unfortunately, there are fundamental differences in Iran policy with the US, which is why we can’t cooperate with the US just like that.
No, can’t have that.
The Social Democrats are more open about their reluctance to participate. Karl-Heinz Brunner, SPD member of the Bundestag Committee on Defense:
A German participation is currently neither necessary nor opportune. Of course, securing free trade routes is extremely important, but I am convinced that this would also be possible by diplomatic means. In the current situation, military options could contribute to further destabilization.
Yeah, Iran is open to diplomacy—so long as everyone does exactly what Iran diplomatically says. Besides, if we took concrete action to defend German or European interests, we might angrify the pirates.
Can’t have that, either.
‘Course, Germany really doesn’t have a dog in this hunt, anyway—it gets most of its oil from Russia.
Update: Germany has decided not to join any coalition ensuring free sea navigation in the Strait of Hormuz or the Arabian Gulf. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:
“Germany will not take part in the sea mission presented and planned by the United States,” Maas told reporters during a trip to Poland.
The German government said it remains in close consultation with France and the UK over a European approach to the freedom of navigation crisis in the Persian Gulf.
Close consultation. Chit chat. I’ve already pointed out whence German oil comes.