Germany has officially declined an invitation to join the US-led maritime mission with the UK and France.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said Wednesday that Germany “will not take part in the sea mission presented and planned by the United States,” which has sought to develop a “maritime security initiative” to counter Iran in the world’s top oil chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz. The top diplomat affirmed that “there is no military solution” to the ongoing crisis that has seen unrest involving competing commercial and military interests in the strategic region.
Earlier Wednesday, government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer confirmed Germany had received a U.S. proposal, but major differences remained in their approaches, so “the government has not offered any contribution,” according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. She added: “For us it is important to continue along the path of diplomacy, and seek talks with Iran to achieve de-escalation.”
Washington’s embassy in Berlin revealed Tuesday that the U.S. had “formally asked Germany to join France and the U.K. to help secure the Straits of Hormuz and combat Iranian aggression.” The embassy also criticized a German Social Democrat lawmaker who opposed the German navy’s involvement on the grounds that it would come “at the expense of other Alliance commitments.”
The U.S. and the U.K. have made separate calls for multinational coalitions to step up patrols in the region, but countries like France and Germany, both signatories to the Iran deal, have expressed wariness at the Trump administration’s involvement.
As Iran’s naval commander announced “a turning point in relations of Tehran in Moscow” with the signing of new document expanding military ties and the planning of new joint exercises with Russia in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, Iranian military figures have held talks with counterparts in India and Pakistan, also calling for a forces in the region to cooperate more closely.