US Launches Persian Gulf Patrols, Raising Stakes With Iran

Analysts warn US-led fleet could blunder into conflict with Iran

While they secured almost no international support, the US is still about to launch its maritime fleet in the Persian Gulf, intended to protect oil shipments going through the area. The move is seen further raising the stakes against Iran.

The US presented Iran as a major threat to shipping, and the perception that the only targets Iran has are enemies like Britain who have seized Iranian ships was a big reason most nations didn’t want to get involved.

Analysts are warning that the presence of this new fleet, and its Iran-targeting mission risks sparking an “accidental escalation” if the forces stumble into an unexpected situation and stumble into a fight.

They also warn it’s going to ratchet up tensions with Iran, as Iran is likely to see it as an “offensive” fleet targeting them, and respond before the fleet can attack any naval targets.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of