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US And Allies Look To Provide Naval Escorts for Oil Tankers Through Persian Gulf

Despite President Donald Trump’s insistence that countries should take responsibility for protecting its own oil tankers through the risky Persian Gulf after two tankers were attacked off the coast of Oman and after Wednesday’s incident where Iranian guard boards harassed a British tanker as it went through the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards denied involvement in the hostilities.

US General Mark Milley said in a Senate hearing on Thursday that the US was crucial to ensuring that shipping lanes through the Gulf remained passable, adding that the US was indeed attempting to assemble a coalition to provide military naval escorts for commercial ships running through dangerous waters.

As for the timetable, Milley added that the plan would be developed within a couple of weeks.

President Trump had said at the end of June, following the first round of attacks on two oil tankers, that the United States would not protect shipping routes through the Strait of Hormuz for free.

“China gets 91% of its Oil from the Straight, Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation,” President Trump said in a June tweet.

“All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey. We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world! The U.S. request for Iran is very simple - No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!”

Today’s new comments indicates that Washington’s stance may have softened from the hard line President Trump took last month over the responsibility of the United States to ensure safe passage through the world’s most critical oil chokepoint.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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