The US officially asked Europe, in particular the UK, France, Germany and Italy, to provide a naval force to patrol and protect ships sailing in the Straits of Hormuz, even if the command and control is handled by the Europeans and not the US. Washington wants to drag the old continent into the front line in case of a military confrontation with Iran. It is well known that the US is behind the existing tension in the Middle East today following its unlawful unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the nuclear deal. However, to the dismay of the US, Europe has up to now refused to follow the US path. The US would like to see Europe more involved. Although the Trump administration is not looking for war, despite the fact that Iran turned its missiles against the UK Royal Navy HMS Montrose and the US destroyers (when the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps confiscated the British-flag tanker Stena Impero). This is the reason that the British command chose to avoid a military confrontation and decided against a military intervention to protect the tanker.
“I order you not to intervene in my operation. The tanker is under my control. Do not put your life in danger”. This is exactly what the Iranian IRGC naval officer told the commander of the Foxtrot 236 when Iranian special forces were about to board the tanker Stena Impero. But why would he warn the British Navy “not to risk their lives”?
The British Navy’s radar sweeps had discovered active mode missiles radar tracking them by means of their semi-radar homing from different launch platforms- main radars which could easily create a saturation attack designed to put the ship in a helpless position and eventually destroy it. The Iranian missiles were ready to firehad the commander of the UK vessel decided to engage with the Iranian fast boats.
Iranian missile platform launchers spread all along the Iranian coast overlooking the Straits of Hormuz had the four US vessels and the one UK naval ship in their sights, ready to engage. Other Iranian armed drones were in the air, also ready to engage, waiting for orders to dive on their selected targets.