According to the Farsnews, Iranian news agency, the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, commented that Iran is the ‘guardian of security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz’, adding that the regional issues will be solved through discussions amongst neighbors.
US Central Command is developing a multinational maritime effort, called Operation Sentinel, to expand surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation under the recent events in the Arabian Gulf region.
Gard advises all vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf region to be highly alerted, operate with a heightened level of security and follow relevant guidance, as the tension in the area keep increasing.
Following the Stena Impero seizure from Iran, the UK called for a European-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz, to ensure safe navigation. After a meeting of COBR, Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, presented the government’s plan on how to keep the area safe.
The US is taking further action under maximum economic pressure campaign against the Iranian regime by imposing sanctions on a Chinese firm and its chief executive for knowingly purchasing or acquiring oil from Iran, violating US sanctions. The transaction took place after the expiration of China’s Significant Reduction Exception (SRE) on May 2, 2019, and was not covered by that SRE.
After the detention by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces of the UK-flagged Stena Impero on 19 July and the latest reported actions which have seen the 23 person crew taken off the ship for ‘questioning’, Human Rights at Sea reinstated its call for widely-accepted UN guidance, describing the basic human rights protections for crew during the deprivation of their liberty in such cases.
After the UK-flagged ship Stena Impero, diverted from its original course in the Strait of Hormuz, the International Chamber of Shipping’s (ICS) Secretary General, Guy Platten, stated that he is extremely concerned about this latest development, particularly in respect of the safety of seafarers.
On Friday, July 19, Iranian authorities seized Stena Impero, a British-flagged, Swedish-owned oil tanker, while sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. The incident spiked the tensions in the area, as the UK condemned this act as ‘hostile’, denying Tehran’s argument that it seized the vessel because it was involved in an accident.
Vietnam accused a Chinese oil survey vessel and its escorts of breaching its sovereignty and demanded China to remove the vessels from Vietnamese waters. The two countries are engaged in a dispute regarding the possible energy-rich of waters in the South China Sea for years.
The US Navy took down an Iranian drone on July 18, after it refused to back down, as President Donald Trump informed. Namely, the USS Boxer destroyed the drone over the Strait of Hormuz, after the drone approached the ship within 1,000 yards. However, Iran stated that it does know about losing a drone. In fact, BBC reports that Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi suggested the US may have downed its own drone by mistake.
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