Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz

Tensions have risen between the United States and Iran and in the middle is the Strait of Hormuz. The narrow water link between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman is very important as it is the world’s busiest shipping lane. About 21 million barrels of crude and refined oil pass through the Strait every day.

The conflict started after multiple oil tankers were damaged by explosions, the U.S. suspected Iranian involvement, while other tankers were seized by Iranian commandos. Iran responded by saying that the ships were not following international maritime rules. Many believe this is an excuse to get revenge from Britain when they seized an Iranian super tanker off the coast of Gibraltar. The tanker was believed to be smuggling oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

Now the tensions grow as earlier in January President Donald Trump Ordered the assasination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Trump stated “Last week, we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives.” Iran responded to this attack by hitting a U.S military target rather than targeting American Civilians. It is unknown if Iran has any future plans for attacking the U.S.

Many countries could be impacted as a lot of them rely on oil for their economy and for manufacturing purposes. If Iran decides to block the narrow waterway many countries could be at stake. Billions of dollars could be lost and the economy could go through drastic changes. This could cause a war to break out between every country that passes through the Strait of Hormuz. Until then we should closely watch Iran and all its actions and try to prevent any further conflict.