Pentagon Muster’s Flotilla to Protect Persian Gulf Shipping as Iran Accused of Seizing UAE Oil Tanker

Tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies continue to reach new heights as an oil tanker disappeared in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday as U.S. officials believe that Iran seized the tanker along with 25 people that were on board.

According to CBS News, Iran has said it responded to a distress call from the Panamanian-flagged tanker MT Riah, based in the United Arab Emirates, and came to its rescue. But no other nation has reported receiving a distress call from the Riah, which was seen being escorted by Iranian naval vessels after the transporter that automatically reports its location was switched off on Saturday. At last report, the ship was anchored off Iran’s Queshm island, which hosts a number of bases belonging to the Islamic Republic’s elite Revolutionary Guard force.

Yesterday, Gen. Frank McKenzie visited the Maritime Security Center in Oman which is run by the United States and Oman and opened last year. From that point, the United States track somewhere around 100 ships that travel through that region (Persian Gulf) every single day.

McKenzie was talking with CBS News on the subject as he said:

“I think this is a great example of partners in the region that are doing what they can to provide for freedom of navigation in the area. I think this is an excellent example of Oman doing the best they can with the capabilities they’ve got. We help them, they help us. It’s an international effort and I think it’s a great statement of what we need to be doing here in the region.”

“It’s really an international problem. It’s not a United States problem, although cetrainly the nations that immediately abut the Strait of Hormuz have a special responsibility to ensure freedom of navigation, of commerce that flows through for the world,’’ added McKenzie.

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