Iran is reacting badly to the announcement that Europe is planning to send a multinational naval force to protect shipping passing through the Strait of Hormuz. “We heard that they intend to send a European fleet to the Persian Gulf which naturally carries a hostile message, is provocative and will increase tensions,” said a Tehran spokesman.

In combination, the Europeans’ welcome decision to increase the warship count and the Iranian response are likely to increase the chances of a military miscalculation that provokes a shooting war.

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