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The Royal Navy is caught in the middle of Iran’s proxy wars

As Iran becomes increasingly assertive in the Arab world, the Navy’s brand new Bahraini base finds itself on the frontline 

By Mike Jackson  

Mike Jackson was professional head of the British army. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images

Last month the Royal Navy opened its new base, HMS Juffair, in Bahrain—the first new overseas naval establishment for decades. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said it would play a “vital role in keeping Britain safe as well as underpinning security in the Gulf.” The announcement was initially made by Philip Hammond in 2014 as a commitment to the region and in particular the United States-led efforts to protect maritime transport from piracy and potential state aggression. At the…

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