US-Led Naval Coalition Issues Warning to Avoid Iranian Waters Amid Seizure Risks

news 13-Aug-2023 Usa News

 US-Led Naval Coalition Issues Warning to Ships to Avoid Iranian Waters Amid Seizure Concerns

A US-led naval coalition operating in the Gulf has issued a warning to ships in the region, urging them to steer clear of Iranian waters to prevent potential seizure, according to the US Navy.

This warning highlights the ongoing tensions in and around the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran had previously seized tankers in late April and early May. Meanwhile, negotiations between Washington and Tehran are underway to secure the release of five US citizens detained in Iran, as well as the unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian funds held in South Korea.

Commander Timothy Hawkins, spokesperson for the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, stated on Saturday, "The International Maritime Security Construct is advising regional mariners to take necessary precautions to minimize the risk of seizure given the current tensions in the region, which we aim to de-escalate. Vessels are being advised to stay as far away as possible from Iranian territorial waters."

The Strait of Hormuz, situated between Iran and Oman at the mouth of the Gulf, serves as a critical passage for approximately one-fifth of the world's crude oil and oil products.

The potential release of US citizens from Iranian prisons and their return to the US would alleviate a significant point of contention between Washington and Tehran. However, the two countries still maintain differences on various issues, ranging from the Iranian nuclear program to Tehran's support for Shia militias in the region.

Iran's mission to the United Nations has stated that, as part of the deal, the United States would also release certain Iranian individuals held in US prisons.

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