All tagged Persian Gulf

Pompeo Talks Maritime Security, Iran With Saudi Crown Prince

◢ U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed maritime security, Iran and Yemen with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a phone call on Wednesday. "The secretary discussed heightened tensions in the region and the need for stronger maritime security in order to promote freedom of navigation," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

UK Joins US in Persian Gulf Mission After Iran Taunts

◢ Britain said Monday it will join forces with the United States to protect merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions with Iran, after Tehran taunted Washington that its allies were too "ashamed" to join the mission. Britain's decision to form the joint maritime taskforce with the United States marks a departure in policy under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Iran Seizes Small Oil Tanker Suspected of Smuggling Fuel

◢ Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf on July 31, compounding concerns about the safety of shipping in a region crucial to oil exports. The vessel—the third foreign ship seized by the guards in the Gulf since July 14—is suspected of smuggling a large volume of fuel, the Guards said on their Sepah News portal.

Iran Tells Oman Neighbors Have Made Talks Impossible

◢ Iran's neighbors have made talks impossible through their "hasty and arrogant moves", a top security official told Oman's foreign minister in Tehran on Saturday amid a tanker crisis. Oman, a past mediator between Iran and its foes, sent its top diplomat to the Islamic republic amid amplified tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies, including in the Persian Gulf.

Swedish Owner of Tanker Seized by Iran Says Crew 'Safe'

◢ The Swedish company that owns the UK-flagged oil tanker seized by Iran said Wednesday it had finally been able to contact its crew being held on board and they declared themselves "safe.” Stena Bulk said in a statement that the ship's captain "advised that everyone was safe with good cooperation with the Iranian personnel onboard.”

Europeans Plan Naval Mission to Protect Ships in Persian Gulf

◢ European governments will assemble a naval mission to provide safe passage for ships through the Persian Gulf, after Iran seized a British oil tanker in the region last week, an act that U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt described as “state piracy.” Hunt announced a “European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of crew and cargo” in a statement to Britain’s Parliament in London on Monday.

UK Mulls Options as Iran Says Ship's Fate Depends on Probe

◢ Iran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain said it was considering options in response to the standoff. Authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.

Iran Says Missing Tanker Had Problems and Was Towed for Repairs

◢ A small oil tanker that had gone missing in the Persian Gulf had technical difficulties and was towed into Iranian waters for repairs, an Iranian foreign ministry official said, according to the ISNA news agency. Further details on the ship, the Panamanian-flagged RIAH, will be announced later, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the semi-offficial ISNA.

BP Oil Tanker Shelters in Persian Gulf on Fear of Iran Retaliation

◢ An oil tanker run by BP Plc is being kept inside the Persian Gulf in fear it could be seized by Iran in a tit-for-tat response to the arrest by Gibraltar last week of a vessel hauling the Islamic Republic’s crude. The British Heritage, able to haul about 1 million barrels of crude, was sailing toward Iraq’s Basrah oil terminal in the south of country when it made an abrupt u-turn on July 6.

Iran Calls Ship Attacks off UAE 'Alarming', Urges Probe

◢ Iran on Monday called attacks on ships in the Gulf "alarming", after the UAE and Saudi Arabia said several vessels including oil tankers were damaged in acts of sabotage off the Emirati coast. "The incidents in the Sea of Oman are alarming and regrettable," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in an English-language statement on the ministry's website.

US Navy Sees Better Iranian Behavior in Persian Gulf

◢ The Iranian military's behavior in the Gulf has changed "across the board" in recent months, the US Navy said on Thursday, after years of tensions in the busy waterway. Last year and in 2016, the US Navy complained repeatedly about the behaviour of Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels, which would often shadow and steer towards US ships.