Washington — US cover for Arab tankers discussed; no request made
The United States has discussed with Saudi Arabia and its neighbors the possibility of providing air cover for oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, but the countries have not requested the help, Reagan administration officials have said. White House spokesman Larry Speakes declined to comment on the reports Thursday, but he did say, ''We're prepared to cope with any eventuality.''
In Brussels, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger repeated Washington's determination to keep the Gulf open to international shipping.
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, in an emergency meeting to discuss the Gulf crisis, accused Iran of aggression against its tankers and said it would take the matter to the UN Security Council. The council comprises Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates , and Oman.