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Norway has discussed participation in naval force with the United States

Speedboat of Iran's Revolutionary Guard trains a weapon toward the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Iranian forces seized a ship in the Persian Gulf suspected of carrying smuggled fuel, state media reported Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, marking the Revolutionary Guard's third seizure of a vessel in recent weeks and the latest show of strength by the paramilitary force amid a spike in regional tensions. State TV and the semi-official Fars news agency reported that seven crew members were detained when the latest ship was seized late Wednesday. (Morteza Akhoondi/Tasnim News Agency via AP, File)

Envoys from the Armed Forces have, at the invitation of the United States, attended a meeting in Bahrain to discuss possible Norwegian participation in a naval force in the Gulf of Persia.

According to VG, the meeting in Bahrain took place on July 31, and Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) confirms to the newspaper that Norway participated.

The government has still not responded to the US request for a Norwegian contribution to a naval force in the Gulf of Persia, which came in June.

We are in a knowledge acquisition phase. We talk to our allies and others, but we do not yet know what form an operation will possibly take, Bakke-Jensen tells VG.

International law issues

We consider, among other things, international law issues. A concrete action on the spot is only a small part of this. If relevant, we must assess our resources together with NATO and meet our own needs, he says.

Bakke-Jensen emphasizes that Norway, like European countries, disagrees with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the nuclear deal with Iran and stated strategy of putting maximum pressure on the country through severe sanctions.

Free sailing

It is well known that we and the European countries disagree with the US regarding the nuclear agreement. But at the same time, there is reason to respond to attempts to prevent free sailing in the area. It can hit the world economy in a very sensitive sea area. It is important to defend the Law of the Sea and the right to free sailing, which is also under pressure in the South China Sea and elsewhere, says Bakke-Jensen to VG.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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