SYDNEY: Australia will join the US-led mission to protect shipping through the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions with Iran, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday. Morrison said Australia would send a “modest” contribution — including a frigate, a P8 maritime surveillance aircraft and support staff — to the mission, which will also involve British and Bahraini forces. “Our contribution will be limited in scope and it will be time-bound,“ Morrison said, expressing concern about security incidents in the vital shipping lane in the past few months. “This destabilising behaviour is a threat to Australian interests in the region,“ he said in a joint statement with his foreign and defence ministers. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper had pressed for Australia’s help patrolling the strategic waterway during a visit to Sydney earlier this month. The move followed a spate of incidents … [Read more...] about Australia to join US in Gulf maritime security mission
Moran gulf shipping
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Monday (Jun 24) told other countries to protect their own Gulf oil shipments, declaring that the United States has only limited strategic interest in the "dangerous" region.In a pair of tweets, Trump said US aims regarding Iran boil down to "No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror."As for Iran's threats to shut sea lanes used to transport a large portion of the world's oil exports through the Persian Gulf, Washington is not concerned, Trump said.Stating that the United States is now the world's biggest energy producer, thereby weaning itself off decades of dependence on Middle Eastern oil, Trump said "we don't even need to be there."And the US military should not be depended upon to keep the narrow sea routes along Iran's coast free."Why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation," he asked. "All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a … [Read more...] about Trump tells other countries to protect own Gulf shipping
PARIS: A surge of tensions in the Gulf has shown the risk of a military confrontation between arch-foes Iran and the United States, even if any conflict would likely be marked by guerrilla warfare rather than full-scale battles, analysts say.A series of mysterious attacks on ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, the key ally of Tehran's Gulf rival Saudi Arabia, prompted President Donald Trump to warn Iran would "suffer greatly" if it harmed US interests.The United States and Iran have had no diplomatic relations since the seizure by Iranian radicals of American embassy staff in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution.The two sides have at times been close to conflict - in particular during a tense period under former US president George W Bush - but analysts see a series of factors as making the current moment particularly combustible.Trump dismayed European allies by pulling out of the 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear programme unilaterally and is now ratcheting up the … [Read more...] about Could Gulf tensions lead to Iran-US war?
FUJAIRAH: Four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in mysterious “sabotage attacks” that have inflamed Gulf tensions amid a standoff between the United States and Iran. In the face of growing international concern, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned visit to Moscow and headed to Brussels instead for talks Monday with European officials, as Britain warned of the danger of conflict erupting “by accident” in the Gulf. Turning up the pressure on Tehran after the United States deployed B-52 bombers and an assault ship to bolster an aircraft carrier in the region, President Donald Trump warned that Iran would “suffer greatly” were it to “do anything” to threaten US interests. “If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake,“ Trump warned at the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.” Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan proposed a revamped military plan at a … [Read more...] about Oil tankers ‘sabotaged’ as Gulf tensions soar
FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates: Four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in mysterious "sabotage attacks" that further inflamed Gulf tensions on Monday (May 13) amid a standoff between the United States and Iran.In the face of growing international concern, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned visit to Moscow to head to Brussels instead for talks with European officials on Iran.Tehran called for an investigation into Sunday's "alarming" attacks off the Emirati coast and warned of "adventurism" by foreign players to disrupt maritime security.Britain warned of the danger of conflict erupting "by accident" in the Gulf.US President Donald Trump warned Iran would "suffer greatly" if it does "anything"."I'm hearing little stories about Iran," Trump said at the White House. "If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake. If they do anything they will suffer greatly."The US has already strengthened its military presence in the region, including … [Read more...] about Oil tankers hit by ‘sabotage attacks’ as Gulf tensions soar