The U.S. is considering a military response if Iran tries to close the Strait of Hormuz, according a report in the Israeli newspaper Maariv.
The strait is the only passageway from the Gulf to the open seas. One-fifth of the world’s oil trade passages through the strategic opening.
Although U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis noted recently that Iran backed down from its threats to close the strait after a number of nations “put their naval forces in for exercises,” the U.S. reportedly has a plan of action in case Iran makes that move — a plan that also involves participation by the UK and Australia.
At the same time, as Clarion reported, the Trump administration is proposing a new strategic and security alliance with six of the Gulf States as well as Egypt and Jordan. The alliance, which was proposed by Saudi Arabia during Trump’s visit to the country last year, would be akin to NATO and is currently being called MESA — the Middle East Strategic Alliance.
Talks to create MESA may be held as early as October when a summit in Washington is scheduled with the participating countries and the U.S.