The US has called on the merchant ships passing through the Persian Gulf: “to send their plans in advance to Washington and London, and not to resist any Iranian interception by force,” Reuters reported yesterday.
“US-flagged merchant vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf waters must send their transit plans through to the US and British naval authorities ahead of time,” the US navy said.
The naval forces explained that the increased military activities and escalating political tensions in the Gulf region were “continuing to pose serious threats on the commercial ships.”
Tensions between Iran and the West since last year have increased when the US pulled out of an international agreement which curbed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme in return for an easing of economic sanctions on Iran.
Washington recently said it would form “an international alliance” to secure navigation routes in the Gulf region, especially in the straits of Hormuz and Bab Al-Mandeb.
The United Kingdom (UK) has also announced the need to form a European mission to secure the Gulf’s navigation routes, following Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker last month.