The Australian Government is reaffirming its commitment to freedom of navigation and safe passage through the Strait of Hormuz, by announcing it will support an international maritime security mission. 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.
Strait of Hormuz
A seizure warrant and forfeiture complaint were launched on August 16, in the US District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that Oil Tanker ‘Grace 1,’ all petroleum aboard it and $995,000.00 are subject to forfeiture.
The Grace 1, the Iranian VLCC that was seized by British armed forces off Gibraltar on July 4, has now departed the UK sovereign territory on August 19, heading east across the Mediterranean. The vessel was part of a diplomatic issue, as it was accused of transporting oil for Syria.
As the Financial Times report, leading security companies removed British guards from vessels sailing in the Gulf of Oman, in fear that Iran may capture UK nationals as tensions soar in the Middle East.
An escalating tension in the Persian Gulf over the last months continues to pose serious threats to commercial vessels. Associated with these threats is a potential for miscalculation or misidentification that could lead to aggressive actions, the US MARAD warned.
The Israeli Foreign Minister, Yisrael Katz, announced that Israel will join the US military coalition for maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz. The aim of the coalition is to protect vessels sailing through the Strait and boost maritime safety.
Following the increasing tensions in Strait of Hormuz between the UK and Iran, the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, stated that the UK cannot use the Strait of Hormuz for as long as Iran is denied passage through the Strait of Gibraltar.
Following the tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, US proposed on a maritime coalition to assist vessels transferring oil. Reuters reports that China is considering entering the coalition concerning ‘Gulf escort arrangements.’
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister met with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, on August 6, in Washington to discuss the threats that are affecting freedom of maritime navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, following the recent attacks on vessels.
19 days after the seizure of the British-flagged tanker ‘Stena Impero’ by Iranian authorities at the Strait of Hormuz, the vessel still remains detained along with its 23 crew members, which is “unacceptable and unjustifiable”, said the owner Tuesday.
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