The U.S. Maritime Administration issued on Friday a maritime advisory warning that Iran or its proxies could target oil infrastructure and commercial ships, including oil tankers, in and around the Persian Gulf.
“Since early May, there is an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. 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 Persian Gulf,” says the U.S. Maritime Administration’s advisory which is effective until early November 2019.
The tension between the United States and Iran has flared up in recent weeks, after the U.S. announced in April that it was ending all sanction waivers for Iranian oil customers, aiming to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero.
Iran, for its part, is accusing the U.S. and its allies of using oil as a political tool and has repeatedly said that American sanctions can’t and won’t bring Iranian oil exports to zero.
On Wednesday, Iran said that it was suspending some of its commitments under the nuclear deal and threatened to resume enriching uranium to a higher level if the remaining signatories to the deal—the EU, Russia, and China—don’t fulfill within 60 days their commitments to Iran, including protecting Iranian oil trade from U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. responded to the flare-up in tensions with Iran with Iran’s Special Envoy Brian Hook vowing that any attack against the United States or its allies would be met with a show of force.
In a statement on Iran’s escalating series of threatening actions and statements, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday:
“The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against U.S. interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive U.S. response. Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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