Amid tension with Iran, US, UK and French naval commanders transit the Strait of Hormuz

The US warship Paul Hamilton after passing through the Strait of Hormuz (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell) (Jon Gambrell/)

Commanders of the US, British and French navies based in the Middle East transited through the strait of hormuz aboard an American warship, as sign of their unified stance to keep the crucial waterway open after Iran seized two oil tankers.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf have been volatile since the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, following the unilateral US withdrawal five years ago.

The incredibly rare joint trip of the three naval commanders aboard the USS Paul Hamilton, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, saw three Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast boats approach the ship at one point.

The crew of the fast boats of the Guard they stood by the machine guns on their deckswhile the sailors aboard the Paul Hamilton also they enlisted next to the machine guns loaded while others took pictures and videos of the ships. A news agency journalist PA accompanied the allied naval commanders.

Although the Guard ships kept their distance from both the Paul Hamilton and the British frigate HMS Lancaster, their presence showed how tense the passage of ships can be in the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a fifth part of the global oil supply.

Iran has seized or attacked 15 ships in the past two years. Eight seizures and seven attacks”, he declared to the PA the vice admiral Brad Cooperwhich oversees the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in the Middle East.

“The naval sector is aware of the security situation in the region. We have the ability to positively influence her and that is what we are doing now,” he added.

Iran’s regime seized several oil tankers

Iranian forces seized early on Tuesday, May 2, a Panamanian flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuzaccording to the US Navy, the second incident of this type in a short time.

The tanker, Niovi, was sailing from Dubai to Fujairah, another port in the United Arab Emirates, when it was detained by the Iranian Navy’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

A dozen IRGCN fast attack craft pounced on the ship in the middle of the strait.”, said a statement from the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet, referring to the Revolutionary Guard naval force.

The Navy published images of small boats of the Guard around the tanker.

Six days earlier, the Iranian navy seized a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker in the Gulf of Oman, a nearby waterway that also borders the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. The event was added to a series of ship arrests and explosions that have rocked the region.

The turbulent but commercially vital Gulf waters, which carry at least a third of the world’s seaborne oilhave witnessed an avalanche of incidents since 2018, when then-President of the United States, donald trumpwithdrew from a nuclear deal and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.

Iran has harassed or attacked 15 international-flagged merchant ships in the past two years, according to the US Navy, which called its actions “contrary to international law, and disruptive to regional security and stability.”

“Iran’s continued harassment of ships and interference with navigation rights in regional waters are unjustified, irresponsible and a current threat to maritime safety and the world economy”, he added.

(With information from AP and AFP)

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