US considering arming commercial ships to thwart Iranian Seizures
August 7, 2023

The U.S. military is considering placing armed personnel on commercial vessels traversing the strategically significant Strait of Hormuz. This measure is being contemplated in response to Iran’s continuous seizures and disturbances of civilian ships in the area, as indicated by statements from U.S. officials.

Starting from 2019, Iran has heightened tensions by capturing numerous ships that navigate the narrow Strait of Hormuz, a pivotal channel at the entrance of the Persian Gulf. These actions have been widely interpreted as Iran’s exertion of pressure on Western countries participating in negotiations concerning the collapsed nuclear agreement with global powers.

The potential deployment of U.S. forces on commercial ships marks a substantial departure in the region’s dynamics and underscores the gravity of the circumstance. This proposed action might function as a deterrent against Iran’s further seizures, yet it also bears the potential of exacerbating the already delicate state of affairs.

This proposed course of action indicates a significant commitment by U.S. military forces in the Middle East, particularly at a juncture when the Pentagon’s focus is directed towards the challenges presented by Russia and China. Notably, even during the “Tanker War” in the late 1980s, a period marked by a substantial naval confrontation between the U.S. Navy and Iran, a measure of this nature was not undertaken.

The potential deployment aligns with the dispatch of numerous Marines and sailors on the USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall, presently en route to the Persian Gulf. This contingent holds the potential to serve as the core of an armed protection mission in the Strait of Hormuz, a critical conduit accountable for a fifth of the globe’s crude oil trade.

The security provision will be extended upon vessel request, requiring authorization from flag state and owner’s registration country. Iran’s representation at the UN did not respond, but state-controlled IRNA news agency acknowledged the U.S. proposal.

Amid escalating tensions and ongoing deliberations, the potential placement of armed personnel on commercial vessels has the capacity to bring about substantial shifts in the dynamics of the Persian Gulf vicinity. The United States maintains its unwavering dedication to safeguarding unhindered passage through the Strait of Hormuz and curbing any disruptive actions originating from Iran.

Recently, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet engaged in discussions with representatives from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to bolster collaboration within the region. The reinforcement of additional naval vessels and aircraft in the area enhances the readiness to promptly counter any provocative actions instigated by Iran.

The Strait of Hormuz remains crucial in countering Iran’s maritime activities and nuclear pursuits, despite global apprehensions. The White House emphasizes its pivotal role in facilitating global trade and maritime well-being.

Read these books:

Navy fires Reserve Center Commanding Officer


Recent News