U.S. Navy escorting American ships in Strait of Hormuz amid Iran tension

CBS/AP, April 30

A Senior Defense Department official confirms to CBS News that U.S. Naval forces have begun accompanying American-flagged maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz.

The move is in response to what Washington views as provocative Iranian behavior in the Persian Gulf. Earlier this week Iranian naval vessels reportedly fired warning shots near Maersk Tigris, a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship, and detained it and its crew. Iranian officials say the Maersk shipping line owes it money.

Iranian naval patrol boats also surrounded a U.S. cargo vessel in the Strait Friday.

“We’ve taken this step to prevent harassment or possible interdiction by Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval forces,” the official told CBS News.

The Navy makes a distinction between accompanying ships and escorting them. The officials said the Navy won’t escort these ships but will let them know in advance that they will monitor the situation as they transit the narrow Strait from the Gulf toward the Arabian Sea.

3 Replies to “U.S. Navy escorting American ships in Strait of Hormuz amid Iran tension”

  1. US navy starts escorting British cargo ships through Strait of Hormuz off Iran’s coast

    RT, May 5

    US Navy warships have begun escorting British-flagged commercial cargo vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, Pentagon announced. It follows last week’s seizure of a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel by Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats.

    Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the US Navy had been asked to accompany the British ship through the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil passageway off the coast of Iran, which Tehran previously threatened to shut off.

    “They’ve asked if we would accompany their flagged vessels through the strait,” Warren told reporters.

    “It’s a key concern of the United States to ensure that sea lanes remain in the region open and safe,” Jeff Rathke, US State Dept. spokesman, said Tuesday adding that the US has a security agreement with the Marshall Islands on defense issues.

    Sputnik: US, Iranian Warships Nearly Collide in Gulf of Aden – Iranian Media

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