Since a series of skirmishes in the region, tensions between the US and Iran have reached crisis levels. Recently, the US has formed an unofficial alliance including Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the UK in order to protect shipping routes in the Persian Gulf. The move comes after two separate attacks on oil tankers in the region and the seizure of the British-flagged Stena Impero tanker by Iran.
In a conversation with counterparts from Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami demanded that “regional countries” must provide security.
Mr Hatami also stated that any US Military alliance, will only “increase the insecurity in the region under the pretext of securing shipping”.
He also added: “The Islamic Republic of Iran spares no effort to safeguard sailing in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, and regional security is a common concern for Iran and other Persian Gulf neighbours, therefore we believe that security should be provided by regional countries and that regional countries should enter into dialogue.”
Moreover, Mr Hatami also stated that the US was the “cause of insecurity in the region”.
The aforementioned Stena Impero has now been seized by Iran since July 19.
In response, Boris Johnson has maintained that the UK will wrk with the US to establish maritime security in the region.
Mr Johnson, however, stop short of imposing US-like sanctions on Tehran.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab also said: ”Our aim is to build the broadest international support to uphold freedom of navigation in the region, as protected under international law.
“Our approach to Iran hasn’t changed. We remain committed to working with Iran and our international partners to de-escalate the situation and maintain the nuclear deal.”
In a further escalation of tensions, US intelligence officials have warned that Iran is using fake communication signal to trick oil tanker in the region.
The signals claim to be American or belonging to US allies.
Some vessels have confirmed interference with their GPS systems, with The Sun reporting US Central Command saying: “Vessels have reported GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and or other communications jamming with little to no warning.”
“The US remains committed to working with allies and regional partners to safeguard the freedom of navigation, the free flow of commerce, and the protection of US vessels and personnel in this region.”
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