June 24, 2019 / 3:16 PM / 25 days ago

US official: United States building maritime security coalition for Gulf

DUBAI, June 24 (Reuters) - The United States is building a coalition with its allies to protect Gulf shipping lanes by having “eyes on all shipping”, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Monday, following recent attacks on oil tankers that Washington blamed on Iran.

The official told reporters en route to the United Arab Emirates that a coalition of nations would provide both material and financial contributions to the “Sentinel” programme, but did not name the countries.

“It’s about proactive deterrence, because the Iranians just want to go out and do what they want to do and say hey we didn’t do it. We know what they’ve done,” he said, adding that the deterrents would include cameras, binoculars and ships. (Reporting by Asma Alsharif and Ghaida Ghantous, Editing by William Maclean)

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