Allies Demand US Step Up as Iran Seizes Tankers

Fast-attack crafts from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy swarming Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi as it transits the Strait of Hormuz from Dubai to port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emir†rates
May 31, 2023

United Arab Emirates officials are expressing frustration with the United States over its response to Iran's recent seizures of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, calling for greater deterrence against the Islamic Republic.

Emirati officials have expressed their disappointment in recent weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported, telling U.S. officials they must take more decisive actions in the region to deter Iran's aggression. Iran in the last two months has seized two tankers, including one carrying Kuwaiti oil destined for Houston and another transiting between the Emirati cities of Dubai and Fujairah.

The Gulf state was particularly frustrated by the seizures, the Journal reported, out of concern that they would damage confidence in the security of the Persian Gulf, where one-third of global oil shipments pass through.

The tank seizures are the latest instance of strained relations between the United States and the UAE, a vital security partner in the region. In March 2022, UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan turned down the White House's request for a call with President Joe Biden and rejected the president's plea to boost oil production in order to lower prices. Tensions have further risen as the United States has pressured the UAE to cut ties with Russia, sanctioning Emirati companies that do business with the regime.

The United States said it has taken steps to deter Iran from seizing tankers, including launching a Navy surveillance task force in the region.

Published under: Iran