"We're engaging now with a number of countries to see if we can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation both in the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab", Dunford said. The US blames Iran for multiple attacks on oil tankers, while Tehran has also shot down an unmanned American military surveillance drone.
Partner countries would be responsible for escorting ships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab.
Under the plan, which has only been finalized in recent days, the United States would provide command ships and lead surveillance efforts for the military coalition.
Any escorting of commercial ships would be done by military ships sailing under the flag of the commercial vessel, he said.
Gen Dunford acknowledged the USA would "work immediately with the militaries to name the true capabilities" every nation has to toughen the initiative.
Bab al-Mandab and the straits of Hormuz were strategically vital routes, offering access to the Red Sea and Gulf respectively from the Indian Ocean.
The general said the size of the initiative depended on the number of countries which made a decision to take part. So with a small number of contributors, we can have a small mission. "We'll expand that as the number of nations that are willing to participate identify themselves".
Almost 4 million barrels of oil are shipped daily through the Bab al-Mandab to Europe, the United States and Asia plus commercial goods. The U.S. held Iran responsible for the attacks and also accused them of destroying navigation devices in waters, both accusations denied by Iran. It adopted an attack on four tankers off the waft of the United Arab Emirates in May perhaps perhaps perhaps.
Days after the June attacks, an unmanned United States drone modified into shot down by Iranian forces in the Gulf. However, Washington insists that the aircraft was flying above worldwide waters.
5 May perhaps perhaps perhaps: The US sends an aircraft provider strike neighborhood and B-52 bombers to the Gulf thanks to "troubling and escalatory indications" associated to Iran.
Iran has acknowledged it would possibly maybe maybe perhaps close the Strait of Hormuz if it modified into unable to export oil, a sanction that US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose if Iran would no longer renegotiate a nuclear deal. Iran had earlier summoned the British ambassador over what it called the "illegal interception" of the ship.
"We have managed under different situations worse than we have today, and I am sure we can manage again", Majid Takht-Ravanchi said.
Although the regional allies have nearly always wanted Washington to take a tough line against Iran, they also seem to be unsure whether to push the USA for an all out war or to favour negotiations.
2 Will even unbiased 2019: Mr Trump steps up stress on Tehran by ending exemptions from secondary sanctions for worldwide locations aloof procuring Iranian oil.
The Islamic Republic has warned there will be a response to the arrest, with President Hassan Rouhani saying on Wednesday that Britain "will realise the consequences later". Enriched uranium is frail to get reactor gas and doubtlessly nuclear weapons.
12 Will even unbiased: Four oil tankers are damaged by explosions off the UAE flee in the Gulf of Oman. The UAE says the blasts were caused by limpet mines planted by a "state actor".
13 June: Explosions hit two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
The latest US-Iranian tensions date back to past year when Mr Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord and restored heavy sanctions on Iran, including its oil industry, exacerbating an economic crisis that has sent the currency plummeting. Iran says the evidence is fabricated.