According to the British daily, "An armada of US and British naval power is massing in the Gulf," as speculations on whether Israel will mount an independent, preemptive strike on the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.
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Iran has repeatedly said that if it senses a military campaign is in the works it would close off the Strait of Hormuz – a conduit of 35%, or around 18 million barrels daily, of the world's oil supply.
An oil blockade would have catastrophic effect the economies of Britain, Europe the United States and Japan.
According to the report, forces gathering in the Gulf include battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging in the Gulf.
The USS John-Stennis (Photo: AP)
In late July, the Pentagon announced that the United States will join forces with its allies in favor of minesweeping maneuvers in the Persian Gulf in September.
The 12-day exercise, dubbed "International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2012," – means to demonstrate the international community's "ability to work together to ensure free and secure trade," General James Mattis, commander of the Central Command, said at the time.
Forces from the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to name a few, will participate in the naval maneuvers, which will be the largest ever undertaken in the region.
Iran is set to stage a massive aerial exercise of its own in October. Tehran has said the drill will be "the biggest air defense war game in the Islamic Republic’s history."
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