Australia will join the American-led effort to protect ships from Iranian threats in the critical Strait of Hormuz, the country’s prime minister said on Wednesday, becoming the fourth country alongside Britain, Bahrain and the US.
Oil tankers passing through the waterway came under attack in May and June, with crews forced to abandon their vessels and at least one ship set on fire. The United States has blamed Iran for the attacks, a charge that Iranian officials have rejected.
In more recent weeks Iranian forces have captured a British flagged tanker and effectively kidnapped the crew. They have threatened other vessels, with British warships having to fend off Iranian forces from capturing other vessels. A Saudi tanker was also captured by Iran.
The media and various governments are wrongly blamed President Trump for heightened tensions. Blaming the US for abandoning the Iran Deal is a warped view, however, as it is since the deal was struck that Iran has increased its aggression in the region. Funded to the tune of more than £100 billion as part of the deal, the Iranian regime was emboldened, allowing it to further fund its terrorist proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and advance its own military operations, building new weapons and increasing its nuclear production.
There are also those who blame the UK for starting the tensions with Iran by seizing an Iranian vessel off Gibraltar. This is also not the reason for the aggression as attacks on oil tankers by Iran took place months before the UK took action. Britain acted legally when seizing the ship, which was unmarked and suspected of delivering oil to a Syrian company currently under EU sanctions. As the vessel was travelling through EU waters, the UK had every right to seize the ship. The mistake from Britain was the releasing of the vessel under EU pressure.
Iran, on the other hand, has illegally captured a British flagged tanker and other vessels from different nations. It did this illegally. They had no legal justification to hijack the ships or capture their crews. They surrounded the civilian vessels in international waters and forced them to change course into Iranian waters where they seized the ships. This is nothing more than piracy.
It is unfortunate that Iran’s aggression has been ignored by the European Union who refused to be a part of any naval force to protect civilian ships against Iran’s acts of piracy. The EU instead has allowed Iran to continue its actions and the US, Britain, Bahrain and now Australia are the ones who have answered the call and will defend these vessels from Iran’s illegal actions.
While Britain is rightfully taking Iran’s threats seriously in this regard, it is still foolishly placing its hope on to the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal. Our government has not yet realised that appeasing Iran only emboldens them.
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