Presently, the Iranian government maintains control over the majority of the Persian Gulf and they claim that they are adequately prepared put into place a blockade on the exportation of any oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz as well. This measure is to be taken in response to the recently imposed sanctions from the United States. While the United States Navy has a continuous presence in the Persian Gulf to protect its trade vessels and their routes, Iran has become resolute in insisting that the U.S. does not belong in their waters.

Revolutionary Guard Navy Lieutenant Commander Alireza Tangsiri stated this week that, “We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here. All the carriers and military and non-military ships will be controlled and there is full supervision over the Persian Gulf. Our presence in the region is physical and constant and night and day.” Iranian officials have gone so far to threaten direct military action against the United States for the sanction; they have specifically targeted Iran’s crude oil exportation.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world’s 3rd largest Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil producing country next to Saudi Arabia. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) of 2015, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in May. Trump claimed that the deal did not do enough to keep nuclear arms out of Iran’s inventory while simultaneously not giving NATO enough benefits. Post-withdrawal, a plethora of trade sanctions were dropped on Iran that targeted the nation’s banking, oil import/export, and trade capabilities; though the sanctions are being imposed incrementally.