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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Storm warning in the strait - FT.com

Worry Tehran will act to provoke a conflict in wake of sanctions


It was a voyage that ordinarily would have attracted little comment. But when the USS Abraham Lincoln, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, joined British and French vessels on Sunday to sail through the Strait of Hormuz, the dispatch of the convoy through the Gulf waterway gained a new significance.

As tensions mount between Iran and the west over Tehran’s nuclear programme, the US and its allies were demonstrating their readiness not only to press ahead with sanctions but to challenge the Islamic Republic if it retaliates by closing what is one of the world’s main oil arteries.