The US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell launched a tough attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Thursday for refusing to join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz, saying “Europe’s largest economy should assume greater global responsibility”.
Relations between the United States and Germany have deteriorated since President Donald Trump took power because of differences over a range of issues including tariffs, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and Iran.
On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiku Maas ruled out his country’s participation in a planned US-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz near Iran after Washington said it had made a formal request to Berlin.
The minister said that Germany wants to calm tensions with Iran and that everything should be done to avoid escalation.
Expressing his frustration over the decision, US Ambassador Richard Grenell said Germany had a duty to fulfill, adding: “Germany is Europe’s biggest economic power.
He said the United States had been seeking German support for the military mission in the Strait of Hormuz for weeks and that although one minister said that the request was being considered, the foreign minister announced his rejection.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer said in Brussels that Germany was “studying” the request in a tone that was milder than that of the foreign minister.