Recent news about the United States preparing to deploy Marines and Navy personnel aboard commercial tankers transiting the Gulf comes as part of efforts to deter Iran from seizing ships in the region.
The move aims to provide an additional layer of protection to tankers, which transport around a fifth of the world’s oil through the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz.
The escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran have brought the Gulf region to the brink of crisis, impacting maritime trade and posing a risk of military confrontations. In this article, we will delve into the background of the conflict that led to this situation and explore the current standing of the crisis.
Strait of Hormuz: A Vital Maritime Chokepoint
The Persian Gulf has been a focal point of friction between the United States and Iran for several decades. In 1987, during the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. launched Operation Earnest Will to protect U.S.-allied vessels in the area. The situation escalated further in April 1988 when U.S. forces engaged in Operation Praying Mantis, which resulted in the sinking or severe damage of half of Iran’s operational fleet.