Britain warns Iran over Hormuz

Britain signaled it is prepared to use force to keep the Strait of Hormuz open despite Iranian threats.

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said his country would not tolerate an Iranian move to close the 34-mile waterway through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.

Iran has made rumblings about closing the strait in recent days as international sanctions have intensified over concerns about the country’s suspected nuclear weapons program. Recently, Iran test-fired missiles in the course of several days of naval exercises in the strait.

On Jan. 5, the Israeli military announced it was gearing up for a major missile defense exercise with American forces, the Associated Press reported. The drill, which Israel said was planned long before the Iranian exercises, will involve thousands of troops and will test multiple missile defense systems. Officials of both countries said the exercises would be the largest-ever joint drill. — jta