As tensions have continued to rise between the US and Iran, American officials continue to try to court allies to join a naval force to safeguard key shipping lanes off the coast of Iran. So far, they don’t have any takers.

The Trump Administration has been keen to have other nations pay for the defense of the Strait of Hormuz, and Trump has argued that the US shouldn’t have to cover the entire cost.

The US currently the aircraft carrier strike group in the Gulf region. Image source: AFP/BBC

The United States is struggling to win its allies’ support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran, six sources familiar with the matter said. — Reuters

US officials, however, are clear they will be in total control of this foreign fleet of ships they’re trying to recruit.

Some nations are okay with sending a few ships to escort their own tankers, but diplomats say that there is a lot of resistance to being seen as part of a US-formed fleet that would increase tensions even further.

“Nobody wants to be on that confrontational course and part of a US push against Iran,” an official was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Pentagon officials argue that the goal is not to encourage a confrontation, though everyone else seems to notice this is the end-result of US efforts in the area, and doesn’t want to be involved.