This mission will see the Australian Defence Force work alongside its international partners to ensure the security of merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
Specifically, Australia’s contribution will include the deployment of:
- AP-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to the Middle East for one month before the end of 2019;
- An Australian Frigate in January 2020 for six months; and
- ADF personnel to the International Maritime Security Construct headquarters in Bahrain.
The Government has been concerned with incidents involving shipping in the Strait of Hormuz over the past few months.This destabilising behaviour is a threat to Australian interests in the region We have been working closely with our allies and partners, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, on this issue, which impacts global security and stability.
Commenting on this decision, the country’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said that freedom of navigation through international waters is a fundamental right of all states under international law. He added that all states have a right to expect safe passage of their maritime trade consistent with international law.
This mission will be an enhancement of Australia's existing and longstanding contribution to counter-piracy and counter-terrorism missions in the waters of the Middle East.
Its contribution will be modest, meaningful and time limited, and it will be part of an international mission.
Working with partners, we will play our part in shaping a better future for Australia and Australians, as well as our region and the world
Mr. Morrison concluded.
The Strait of Hormuz experienced an increased tension for months now. It first started when the UK arrested the Indian Captain and Chief Officer of the Iranian tanker 'Grace 1', a few days after the ship was seized suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria.
Later on, what is said to be an act of retaliation, was when Iran seized Stena Impero. Yet, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized another foreign vessel, supporting that it was transmitting 700,000 litres of oil to 'some Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.'