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Tensions Soar After Iran Attempts to Block UK Oil Tanker

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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Posted on: 
11 Jul 2019
Tensions Soar After Iran Attempts to Block UK Oil Tanker
The British government announced on Thursday morning that "Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the strait of Hormuz.” The statement added that a British warship, HMS Montrose, was "forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away. We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region." Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) denied the accusations.

The incident occurred amidst feverish diplomatic activity by France to save the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement after Iran’s recent decision to violate certain provisions of it, claiming it had a “right” to do so in retaliation for US sanctions. US President Donald Trump tweeted late Wednesday that those sanctions would soon be “increased substantially” while Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said during his meetings with French officials that Tehran had “completely kept the path of diplomacy and talks open.” He added an appeal for other parties to the JCPOA to “completely implement their commitments” to prevent it from collapsing.

Meanwhile, a report was released by the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington this week claiming that there are as many as 3 million people in Iran who regularly abuse alcohol and/or narcotic substances. Some analysts pointed to the report as evidence of the deepening internal crisis in Iran which could be driving the regime to desperately seek a foreign enemy to whom they can redirect public anger.

Here's a recent video giving some insight into Iran's foreign policy


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