According to Reuters, the UK's need on improving the safety in the area reflects a possible change of plans from Washington's EU allies who have been following the US's requests on boosting their military presence in the Gulf.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced to Parliament that
Under international law Iran had no right to obstruct the ship’s passage – let alone board her. It was therefore an act of state piracy. We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region
Yet, Mr Hunt added that the proposal won't follow the EU's military power to support Washington's hard attitude against Iran.
For the time being, the EU has been neutral on the tension between Tehran and Washington, whereas Germany, France and Britain were opposed last year, when U.S. President Donald Trump decided to abandon a global agreement, according to which Iran had access to trade in return for accepting curbs on its nuclear program.
Moreover, Mr Hunt added that the EU naval mission won't be in support of the US's attitude towards Iran, as the former will remain committed to preserving the Iran nuclear agreement.
Concerning EU's neutrality in light of the tensions, Britain was affected by this crisis as it seized an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar accused of violating sanctions on Syria.
When asked about the captured British vessel, Jeremy Hunt replied
The responsibility … falls to the United Kingdom to take care of their ships.
In general, there has been an increasing tension between the US and Iran, keeping in mind the attacks in Gulf of Oman that took place kept the industry alerted for additional attacks. The ongoing tensions in the area seem to be a challenge for the shipping industry to collaborate; Thus, Reuters provided a timeline of the events that feed the escalated tension among major state players, like US and Iran.