Bolton: Unlike Johnson, Theresa May Rejected US Proposal to Join Its Gulf Mission
By Staff- Agencies
US National Security Adviser John Bolton revealed that former British Prime Minister Theresa May rejected Washington’s proposal to join the US-led naval mission in the Gulf.
Bolton was cited by The Sun as saying during his visit to London: “We were pleased [new UK] PM Johnson's government has agreed to participate in Operation Sentinel, which reflects a change from the prior government. Britain’s original preference was to participate in some kind of European operation in the Gulf.”
He added that he is still looking into what the European mission in the Gulf “would do”, claiming that the US proposal “was far more likely to be successful”.
The statement comes a few days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the UK’s move to join a US-led Gulf coalition a “victory for meaningful, effective multi-lateralism”, pointing to Britain’s “centuries of maritime expertise”.
Pompeo said following London’s announcement last week that it will help the US “uphold freedom of navigation in the [Gulf] region”; at the same time, the UK stressed that it remains “committed to working with Iran and our international partners to de-escalate the situation and maintain the [2015 Iran] nuclear deal”.
Earlier, Washington’s request for Berlin to join the US mission was rejected by a German official, who said that he remains “very skeptical” about the mission, which he warned “may fuel military escalation in the Gulf”.
Similar requests were sent by the US to France, Australia, Japan, Norway, Belgium and South Korea, with their governments’ go-ahead yet to be announced.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, for his part, stressed that the US had failed to create an allied naval coalition in the Gulf because Washington is “alone in the world” and “countries that are its friends are too ashamed" to join a coalition with Washington.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, in turn, emphasized that it is Gulf states that are solely responsible for cooperation on regional security. According to him, the root of all Gulf tensions was the presence of outside countries in the region.