US demand German military participation
According to the will of the USA, the Bundeswehr is to protect merchant ships from Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. According to Vice Chancellor Scholz that will probably be nothing.
BERLIN taz / afp | The US requires Germany to send warships to the Gulf to protect trade routes against Iran. “We have formally requested Germany to work with France and Britain to help secure the Strait of Hormuz and fight Iranian aggression,” the US embassy said on Tuesday to several news agencies.
The objection that the German navy is already overloaded and have no capacity for such a mission, the US does not appear to apply. On Twitter, the US Embassy wrote: “Suggestion: How about Europe's largest economy buys more ships?”
The Federal Government rejects a German participation in a US-led naval mission, according to Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), however, closed. “Yes, that's my impression,” said Scholz on Wednesday in the “ZDF Morning Magazine” on the question of whether the grand coalition on the issue was in line.
When asked whether the federal government had already officially rejected the US request, Scholz said that the German attitude on the issue was “not just since yesterday” known. “Many have said that we want to discuss with our French and British partners in Europe how to observe the situation. But there is no mention of a mission as it has been requested. “
The worst thing would be a military conflict
A naval mission to protect civilian shipping in the Gulf region “jumped a few steps too fast,” said the Federal Minister of Finance. If a “steady escalation” between Iran and the other actors in the conflict could be prevented, that would also be a good protection for shipping. “The worst thing would be a real local military conflict. Then shipping would really be at risk, “warned Scholz.
The Strait of Hormuz, which borders with southern Iran, is one of the world's major maritime trade routes. In mid-July, Iran set a British oil tanker there – apparently a demonstration of force against the West, and especially the US, with which Tehran is fighting over the Iranian nuclear program.
Since the incident, the British government has been campaigning for an international military mission to protect merchant ships in the region. There are several possible variants: a purely European mission, possibly under the umbrella of the EU, or a rather loose international coalition with the participation of the USA. The old British government under ex-Prime Minister Theresa May apparently tended to the first variant, the new under Boris Johnson to the last.
De-escalation and diplomacy
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) had already reported to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag last week on a nonpublic request from the USA. On Tuesday, it was said from the Foreign Office, the Federal Government had the US request “noted, but no contribution in view”.
He goes on to say: “Foreign Minister Maas has repeatedly emphasized that, from our point of view, priority must be given to a de-escalation of tensions and diplomatic efforts. We are in close consultation with France and Great Britain. Participation in the American strategy of maximum pressure is out of the question for us. “
Should the federal government actually reject the US request, this would further burden German-American relations. However, if it agrees or agrees with other EU countries on a European mission, there are detailed issues – for example, for which cases the Bundestag allows German ships to use force.
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