World: Iran Seen Focusing on U.K. Ships as Risk Flares Up in the Gulf - PressFrom - US
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WorldIran Seen Focusing on U.K. Ships as Risk Flares Up in the Gulf

02:35  12 july  2019
02:35  12 july  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

U.S. tries to muster a flotilla as Iran suspected of seizing tanker

U.S. tries to muster a flotilla as Iran suspected of seizing tanker Top commander in Mideast tells CBS News keeping ships safe is not just America's job, as he tries to convince allies to send warships to counter Iran

“ Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” U .S. President Donald Trump Oil prices rose about 1% on Friday, reflecting the jitters. Insurance costs for ships sailing through the Iranian military fast-boats in the Gulf of Oman were preventing two privately owned tug boats from

“ Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U .S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait or the The State Department also updated a travel advisory to U .S. citizens in Iraq on Monday that was issued in the wake of the rising tensions last week.

Iran Seen Focusing on U.K. Ships as Risk Flares Up in the Gulf A British Royal Navy ship patrols near supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on July 6, 2019. - Iran demanded on July 5, 2019 that Britain immediately release an oil tanker it has detained in Gibraltar, accusing it of acting at the bidding of the United States. Authorities in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain's southern tip at the western entrance to the Mediterranean, said they suspected the tanker was carrying crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images) (Bloomberg) -- Shipping in the Middle East is getting ever riskier, with a standoff between the U.K. navy and Iran just the latest in a line of incidents in the region over the past few months.

US proceeding with plan for coalition to deter Iran threats

US proceeding with plan for coalition to deter Iran threats The United States will move ahead with plans to build a coalition of nations to monitor and deter Iranian threats against commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf area and in a heavy trafficked waterway between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said the Pentagon has developed a specific plan, and that he believes it will be clear within a couple of weeks which nations are willing to join the effort.

Iran accused the United States and its allies, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Two oil tankers, the Kokuka Courageous and the Front Altair, were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on American intelligence agencies believe Iran wants to use covert attacks on shipping to drive up the

Fujairah: Four ships , including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in mysterious "sabotage attacks" that have inflamed Gulf tensions amid a standoff between the United States and Iran . In the face of growing international concern, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned visit to

Though Iran’s attempts to block the passage of BP Plc’s British Heritage oil tanker were ultimately thwarted by the U.K. Navy, they highlight a growing trend of disruptions to shipping in the region. Two tankers were sabotaged in the region last month, while four were struck in May.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps warned on Wednesday that it would “reciprocate” for the seizure last week of a vessel hauling its crude by Gibraltarian officials and British Royal Marines. The threat all adds to a growing sense that disruptions to maritime trade are set to continue near a choke point that accounts for one third of all seaborne petroleum.

Top U.S. military commander travels to Persian Gulf amid Iran tensions

Top U.S. military commander travels to Persian Gulf amid Iran tensions CBS News correspondent David Martin is traveling with Gen. Frank McKenzie

Iran has denied involvement in explosive strikes on those two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week But the incidents have fueled tensions that flared with the U .S. pullout last year from world powers’ France and Germany said on Wednesday they would crank up efforts to halt any spiral towards

Iran 's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said the U .S. Navy's USS Nimitz, seen here leaving North Island Naval Air Station in January 2008, and another warship, fired warning flares at Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf on Friday. File Photo by Earl S. Cryer/UPI | License Photo.

“Iran will focus on retaliation towards U.K. assets,” says Olivier Jakob, managing director of consultant Petromatrix GmbH. “As far as escalation, I don’t know how far they want to escalate it, but they can do it just to be a nuisance.”

The confrontation was reported by the British government. Tehran said it didn’t happen.

British Protection

The British Heritage is registered in the Isle of Man, a British crown dependency, but flies the British flag. There are seven Isle of Man registered ships in or close to the Persian Gulf, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. London-based BP also charters ships to export crude from the region, and will sometimes take tankers on long-term charters.

The Isle of Man Ship Registry confirmed that vessels registered there are currently operating in the Gulf. It said such carriers receive the same protection and support as U.K. ships, as deemed appropriate by the British government.

Trump says US Navy shot down Iranian drone in 'defensive action,' escalating tensions in Gulf region

Trump says US Navy shot down Iranian drone in 'defensive action,' escalating tensions in Gulf region Trump said the USS Boxer fired on and destroyed Iran's drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday in a "defensive action."

Iran could use ships to deploy the missiles to some of its islands in the Persian Gulf , several Fabian Hinz is an independent OSINT analyst focusing on missile proliferation in the Middle East and Show comments Hide Comments. Log In with your RCMG Account Register. Sign up for RC newsletters.

Washington has increased economic sanctions and built up its military presence in the region, accusing Iran of threats to U .S. troops and interests. Tehran has described those steps as “psychological warfare” and a “political game”. On Friday, a defiant Iran said it could “easily” hit U .S. ships .

There are 15 ships flying the flags of Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the U.K. presently in or around the Persian Gulf, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They span a wide mix of different types of merchant vessels from tankers to LNG carriers, container ships and dry-bulk ships.

“U.K.-flagged vessels, as well as broader flags of convenience and U.K. interests, continue to exist in a status of heightened but manageable risk,” Dryad Global, a London-based private intelligence firm advising energy companies, shipowners and commodity traders, said in a note. “It is highly likely that this latest incident will provide further impetus for a coordinated international response to provide naval escorts to vessels within the region.”

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The growing perils for vessels in the region has been most clearly seen in the cost of insuring tankers. Premiums for the ships and their cargoes sailing to and from the Persian Gulf soared more than tenfold late-last month, although it’s unclear what impact the latest incident will have.

The hike came not long after the Joint War Committee, a group that advises insurers, designated the entire Persian Gulf and waters just outside it a so-called Listed Area -- the riskiest possible classification. The assessment gives underwriters room to charge more.

What's behind Iran's aggression in the Strait of Hormuz?

What's behind Iran's aggression in the Strait of Hormuz? The seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the latest example of how tensions between the U.S. and Iran have spilled into one of the world's most strategic and vital waterways for oil. Since May, Iran has been accused of harassing and attacking oil tankers in the strait. 

The Persian Gulf has become a major gateway for East-West travel in the aviation industry. Concerns about a possible conflict have flared since the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran that has seen America order

The crews of both ships were evacuated. Both Iran and the U .S. Navy said they were assisting. Is Iran behind the suspected attacks? Among the reasons the United States is on high alert is the economic significance of the narrow stretch of water at the mouth of the Persian Gulf , the Strait of Hormuz

Keeping Watch

Shipping groups have also been ramping up guidance to their members. Crews should be on alert for any approaches toward a ship, while also using spotlights and sonar equipment to deter approaching divers, according to the Oil Companies International Marine Forum.

Last week, five groups jointly issued a statement advising owners not to use private armed guards, as that may exacerbate already high levels of tension. Using force against possible threats in the Gulf of Oman could escalate the situation and endanger ships and their crews, the groups said.

“There is a greater risk shipping from the Persian Gulf, but this risk has been lingering around for quite a few months now,” says Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING Bank NV. “Obviously the latest action does little to calm those concerns.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Longley in London at [email protected];Firat Kayakiran in London at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at [email protected], Christopher Sell

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Iranian boats attempted to seize British tanker.
Five armed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats unsuccessfully tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Wednesday, according to two US officials with direct knowledge of the incident. The British Heritage tanker was sailing out of the Persian Gulf and was crossing into the Strait of Hormuz area when it was approached by the Iranian boats. The Iranians ordered the tanker to change course and stop in nearby Iranian territorial waters, according to the officials. A US aircraft was overhead and recorded video of the incident.

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