All tagged Strait of Hormuz
◢ Britain said on Thursday that Iranian military vessels tried to "impede the passage" of a UK oil tanker but were warned off by a British warship in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Tehran in the Gulf. "Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz," the UK defence ministry said in a statement.
◢ Iran "never seeks war" with the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said as he sought to rein in soaring tensions Wednesday between the two countries. "Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US," the president said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.
◢ US President Donald Trump on Saturday pledged to hit Iran with "major" new sanctions as Tehran warned Washington that any attack would see its interests across the Middle East go up in flames. The war of words heated up after Trump had pulled back from military action against Iran in response to its downing of a US reconnaissance drone.
◢ Some of the world's leading carriers including British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines on Friday suspended flights over the Strait of Hormuz, as Iran-US tensions flare over the downing of a drone. The suspensions came after the Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice, "prohibiting US-registered aircraft from operating over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.”
◢ The U.S. called off military strikes against Iran on Thursday night that were approved by President Donald Trump, according to an administration official, abandoning a move that would have dramatically escalated tensions that are already running high between the two countries. The attack, ordered after Iranian forces shot down a U.S. Navy drone over the Strait of Hormuz, would have involved airstrikes and was close to being carried out when it was stopped.
◢ President Emmanuel Macron sent his top diplomatic adviser to Iran this week as part of European efforts to defuse tensions between Tehran and Washington, the French presidency said Thursday. The adviser, Emmanuel Bonne, held "high-level meetings" Wednesday in Tehran,” with the aim of contributing to the deescalation of tensions in the region,” Macron's office said.
◢ There’s “no doubt” Iran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers leaving the Persian Gulf last week, and the U.S. will guarantee safe commercial navigation going forward with its partners, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said. “The United States is going make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise, that achieve that outcome,” Pompeo said on Sunday.
◢ Two oil tankers were damaged on Thursday in a suspected attack near the entrance to the Persian Gulf, stoking fears that high-stakes diplomatic efforts won’t avert a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran. Oil prices surged. The incidents, including an attack on a Japanese-operated vessel, were the second in a month to hit ships near the Strait of Hormuz chokepoint, through which about 40% of the world’s seaborne oil travels.
◢ President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran could take a dangerous turn if he heeds the advice of allies and aides seeking regime change in the Islamic Republic, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. “President Trump’s aim is to bring us to our knees and talk,” Zarif said at the Asia Society in New York. “But the ‘B-team’ wants regime change at the very least.”
◢ Iran's President Hassan Rouhani struck a defiant stance against US sanctions on Tuesday, renewing his threat to cut off international oil sales from the Gulf. “America should know... it is not capable of preventing the export of Iran's oil," Rouhani said at a televised rally in Semnan province.
◢ Iran is to move its main oil export terminal from the Persian Gulf to the Oman Sea, President Hassan Rouhani announced on Tuesday, sparing its tankers from using the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Rouhani said exports were already being shifted from the Kharg Island terminal, deep in the Persian Gulf, to Bandar-e-Jask in the Oman Sea and would be completed by the end of his term in 2021.
◢ Frequently a target of attack by hardliners, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is benefiting from a sudden surge in support from his former critics, a week after he called for national unity. The apparent sea-change in conservative rhetoric follows hawkish comments by the president himself following Washington's unilateral May withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.