Persian Gulf Security Ideal

Persian Gulf Security Ideal Persian Gulf Security Ideal

Security of ships and commercial vessels in the strategic regional waters is unharmed and there is no need for the United Sates to escort its ships in this part of the world, Iran's navy commander said Sunday recommending the US to accompany its vessels in waters near war-ravaged Yemen.

Admiral Habibollah Sayyari stressed that security in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Oman Sea is ideal and complete and there is no need for any concern about the said shipping lanes, ISNA reported. He attributed the safety and security of shipping to the "permanent presence of the Iranian Navy and the Islamic Republic Guard Corps (IRGC)."

According to the navy chief, security in the "Persian Gulf is one hundred percent. The lack of security is in fact in the Gulf of Aden and Bab-al-Mandab. The Americans should escort their ships in that region."  He was referring to the ongoing security crisis in impoverished Yemen where a Saudi-led and US-backed coalition is bombing the Houthis for more than a month to dislodge the militia from Aden and the Yemeni capital Sana'a.

The fighting has ravaged the poor country and so far killed more than 1,000 people, mainly women and children.  Iran backs the Houthis both politically and diplomatically and has appealed to the international community to help end the destructive airstrikes and promote a political solution to the latest crisis in the troubled Middle East after the protracted internal conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

On the issue of the seizure of a Maersk commercial vessel on April 28 by the IRGC in the Striat of Hormuz, Sayyari said "impounding of the vessel was legal."

Tehran has officially said that the container carrier owned by a Danish company was premised on "laws and regulations of the Islamic Republic and international law with no political or security motive."  The Marshall Islands flagged 'Maersk Tigris' was impounded by the Guard's naval unit and directed toward Iran's southern port of Bandar Abbas on Tuesday and its crew was detained.

Iran said the vessel will be released as soon as the company clears its outstanding debt to the Iranian plaintiff. After the rare shipping incident, US defense officials said that US navy ships will accompany US-flagged commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz "to make sure they are not interfered with by Iran," the BBC reported.

The US navy will not be escorting the ships - a different procedure from accompanying them. Instead, it will monitor the area as the ships pass across the strait.

The crew of the container ship seized by Iran in the strait are safe and "in good spirits", the Danish shipping company said.

Maersk said it still did not know the reason why the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was seized, and noted it had been in an international shipping lane. Iranian media cited an official as saying the ship was seized based on a court order in connection with a complaint made by a private Iranian company about debts.

Shipping traffic is allowed to pass through under an internationally-recognized protocol called "innocent passage", so long as the ships are not carrying weapons, collecting intelligence, or violating other international laws.