Avoid going near the Iranian coast.
As tensions between the United States and Iran over the Strait of Hormuz continue to rise, this was the straightforward warning sent to international shipping firms on Saturday.
In response to Iran’s buildup of soldiers, ships, and planes in the area, the Biden White House is considering putting armed sailors alongside U.S. Marines aboard commercial vessels in the strait to discourage Iran.
According to Associated Press Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesperson for the United States Navy’s 5th Fleet in the Middle East, said the shipping alert had been sent, but he would not elaborate.
It has been recommended that ships avoid passing across seas claimed by Iran.
In May of this year, shippers received a similar warning before Iran seized two tankers in international waters in the strait, the small entrance of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world’s oil travels.
Hawkins said the International Maritime Security Construct, which the United States supports, advises regional sailors on proper procedures to limit the danger of seizure based on current regional tensions, which the United States aims to de-escalate.
According to private intelligence business Ambrey, a warning of a likelihood of an assault on a commercial vessel of unknown flag in the channel of Hormuz in the next 12 to 72 hours was sent by an EU-led maritime body monitoring commerce in the pipeline.
The company said a commercial ship had been “seized by Iranian officials on a bogus pretext” after a similar warning had been given in the past.
U.K. Maritime Transport Organization advises all boats in route to be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior.
According to the AP, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, another branch of the British military that issues cautions to ships in the Persian Gulf, issued its notice a few hours later.
According to the alert, a heightened danger has been made known to UKMTO in the area of the Strait of Hormuz.
The Strait of Hormuz is a small passageway between Iran and Oman through which around 20% of all crude oil passes.