Iranian Military Join The Threat To Shipping

April 16, 2024

Iranian Military Join The Threat To Shipping

After seizing the 15,000 TEU ‘MSC Aries’, the Iranian military have now joined the threats to shipping in the Middle East region, along with the Houthi Rebels and Somalian pirates.

The ship seizure, whereby Iranian troops landed on the deck via helicopter and took control of the vessel and its 25 crew, occured on Saturday in the Strait of Hormuz. This being the first direct military action against commercial shipping by Iran during the conflict.

The Israeli linked vessel was seized shortly after leaving Dubai in an area which had previously not been impacted by commercial shipping attacks. The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow passage which links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf Of Oman and provides ocean freight access to Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE.

Previously, Houthi Rebel attacks in the Red Sea region had led to major carriers rerouting Asia round trip services via the Cape Of Good Hope. There has also been an increase in Somali pirates attempts to hijack cargo ships, with over a dozen incidents since November. Somalia borders the Gulf Of Aden and the Indian Ocean and one successful hijacking of a bulk carrier ship last month is understood to have resulted in a $5 million ransom being paid.

However, the Iranian military’s involvement is a new threat and any escalation will be a major concern for shipping in the whole of the Middle East.

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