Tensions grow between Spain and the US Relations between the United States and Spain have strained over the past few weeks after the Spanish government rejected proposals to participate in a joint mission in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran.
Spain has backed its close ally Germany in its refusal to partake, and has left the US “disappointed” that its proposed patrol fleet has hit a stumbling block. Donald Trumps plan was to create a joint maritime patrol of the Strait, which is the fifth largest oil transit area in the world,to protect European oil tankers from Iranian ‘piracy’ in the Persian Gulf.
However Spain’s involvement in the program was withdrawn after Boris Johnson’s recent election in UK parliament, and his election of British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab who stated that, “the European naval fleet was unfeasible without the support of the United States.” His statement enraged European nations and led to the withdrawal of both Spain and Germany.
Spain has recently withdrawn its frigate, the Méndez Núñez from the area due to increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran. Margarita Robles, Minister of Defense, justified the withdrawal as”a technical decision and not a political decision” However it does maintain it’s presence in the Indian Ocean for Operation Atalanta. It currently has a Navarra frigate and a P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft patrolling the area protecting the fishing fleets in the area.