Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway

Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway


This is the Stena Impero, a British
oil tanker traveling through the Persian Gulf. On July 19th 2019, it was on its way
to Saudi Arabia when it received a radio message from Iranian naval forces. Later, the Stena Impero was dramatically boarded and seized. Using speed boats and
helicopters Iran’s Revolutionary Guard took control of the British tanker and
took it to an Iranian port. The Stena Impero isn’t alone. Several oil tankers have run into trouble in recent months. Already troubled waters were further
roiled with attacks on two oil tankers. Three Iranian vessels tried to block a
British tanker. An unnamed US official is blaming Iran for explosions on four
ships. Iran declared it has seized an Iraqi oil
tanker. Plot these incidents on a map and you’ll see them centered around this
narrow ocean passage — the Strait of Hormuz. Dozens of oil tankers pass
through here daily each carrying up to 84 million gallons of oil. This flow of
oil represents 20% of the world’s supply. A former Iranian prime minister even
referred to this passage as the jugular of the global economy. But these ships
and this narrow strip of ocean are caught in the middle of a struggle – a
struggle between the U.S. and Iran. One that has the potential to escalate and
to choke the global economy in the process. The strait of hormuz lies between Iran
and Oman. It links the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman which eventually leads
to the Arabian Sea. At its narrowest the strait is less than 34 kilometers wide
and oil tankers that pass through here travel on a pair of shipping lanes each
three kilometers wide. Most of these ships carry petroleum products from the
Middle East to the rest of the world and in particular to Asia. But an attack on
any tanker here regardless of destination can affect the price of oil
everywhere. That’s because oil is a globally traded
product. A drop in supply from the Gulf can drive up prices from other sources
around the world. After two recent oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of
Hormuz the price of oil from the North Sea jumped nearly $2 per barrel.
It’s because of this strategic importance that the Strait of Hormuz has
become a place where long simmering tensions between the u.s. and Iran are
playing out. And it all began with the Tanker War. Saddam Hussein ordered his
troops across the Iranian frontier after a series of border skirmishes. War broke
out in the Middle East in 1980 after Iraq invaded Iran. The US helped Iraq and
its campaign against Iran by providing military intelligence behind the scenes.
When Iraq wasn’t able to topple Iranian forces over land it turned its attention
elsewhere. Missiles against tankers are the weapons that both sides are using to try and break the stalemate in their war on land. Iraq moved to cut off Iran’s
main export. It began attacking tankers carrying oil from Iranian ports in what
became known as the Tanker War. Iran eventually responded by attacking oil
tankers moving to and from the Gulf States some of which were supporting Iraq. But with Iraq being aided by the West Iran had to get creative. It turned
to sea mines and planted them around the Strait of Hormuz. For the first time Iran
was using the disruption of oil moving through Hormuz as a weapon. But these
disruptions finally drew the u.s. directly into the conflict. In 1987 the u.s. stepped in to protect the flow of oil for itself and its
allies by escorting tankers. Tensions between the two countries began to escalate. In 1988 a u.s. naval ship struck an Iranian mine injuring US
sailors on board. A couple months later a u.s. warship mistook an Iranian
passenger aircraft for a fighter jet and shot it down over the Strait of Hormuz
killing all 290 passengers. Ronald Reagan has issued a statement deeply regretting the loss of life in what he calls a terrible human tragedy. The iran-iraq war ended in
August 1988 but conflict between the u.s. and Iran continued for decades and
tensions and distrust grew on both sides. And a major source of that distrust was
Iran’s nuclear program. By 2002 suspicions were growing in the
u.s. around Iran’s intentions. By now Iran was fighting proxy wars around the Middle East and the u.s. feared an Iranian nuclear weapon could fall into
the wrong hands. Iran and their terrorist allies
constitute an axis of evil. By seeking weapons of mass destruction these
regimes pose a grave and growing danger. There were reports that Iran had
expansive and undisclosed nuclear facilities like this one in Natanz and
this facility in Arak. Finally in 2011 a UN report revealed that Iran has carried
out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive
device. The mutual distrust between the u.s. and Iran boiled over. They have not
found even one gram of uranium to be diverted to military purposes. Iran has
refused to satisfy legitimate concerns about the nature of its nuclear program.
The u.s. announced sweeping sanctions against Iran. President Obama signed an
executive order that for the first time specifically targets Iran’s
petrochemical industry. Iran’s oil exports dropped dramatically and with it
Iran’s income. The country’s economy began to shrink for the first time in
nearly a decade. To fight back Iran used the only
leverage it had — the Strait of Hormuz. Iran threatened to close the passage
saying not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz
if Iranian oil is sanctioned. And to back its threat Iran’s navy conducted a ten
day show of force in the strait. US naval forces followed suit
warning Iran that closing the strait would not be tolerated. The threats are
being ramped up over a vital oil shipping route. The chief of US Naval
Operations has told Al Jazeera his Navy is capable of securing the Strait of
Hormuz should it need to. u.s. Navy and the Coast Guard ships two close
encounters just last week. The Strait of Hormuz was once again a tense conflict
zone between Iran and the US but this time the two countries reached a
diplomatic solution. Today after two years of negotiations the United States
together with our international partners has achieved something that decades of
animosity has not — a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will
prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In 2015 Iran agreed to scale back
its nuclear program and to allow its nuclear facilities to be monitored in
exchange for sanctions relief. With sanctions lifted Iran’s oil exports
picked back up and Iran’s economy showed signs of recovering until 2018.
I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran
nuclear deal. The fact is this was a horrible one-sided deal that should have
never ever been made. Claiming the original deal with Iran didn’t go far
enough in addressing Iran’s terrorist proxy groups president Trump abandoned
the nuclear deal with Iran and put sanctions back in place. The ongoing
conflict between the two countries has turned Hormuz into a flashpoint once
again with tensions at levels not seen since the Tanker War. Tensions with Iran have reached a boiling point. Iran — trouble nothing but trouble. The
United States is not interested in diplomacy period. President Trump says
the military was quote cocked and loaded to carry out airstrikes against Iran.
Iran hopes that disrupting the passage of these international tankers will put
pressure on countries to stick with the nuclear deal while also putting pressure
on the u.s. to lift sanctions. But without the direct diplomatic contact
between the u.s. and Iran each run-in has the risk of escalating into war one
that could disrupt the jugular of the global economy in the process. [Music]

100 thoughts on “Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway

  1. The video is very good and informative as always.
    I just have two minor additions:
    1. The beginning of tensions between the US and Iran was actually not the tanker war with the following Gulf war, but the 1953 incident, where the US overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh
    2. The reason, that the conflict escalated a couple of weeks ago was related to the jcpoa, however it got jumpstarted by the capture of an Iranian tanker in the Gibraltar straight by the UK

  2. US just wants Monopoly over every country in the world. In this situation Iran did nothing wrong, why should China, America or Russia have nuclear weapons but Iran won't.

  3. America has no choice but to remove the sanctions if not Iran will make a nuke and that will end all threats from America

  4. IF no one was there to say no…What would Iran be doing? You bet they would shut it down and ransome the tankers. They are wanting power/status and are out to prove it.

  5. IRAN DOESN'T WANT AN ATOMIC BOMB!!
    I WISH THAT THEY HAD ONE THEN THEY WERE SECURED LIKE NORDKOREA. RED CARPET'S INSTEAD OF SANCTION'S!

  6. Finally US has became oil independent in 2019 for domestic use, and they don't care about rest of the world, that is why they are escalating war, its time for rest of the world to come together

  7. Vox missed an important detail regarding Trump's decision to back out of the Nuclear program that Obama made. There was an investigation that confirmed Iran had been working on Nuclear devices undercover. A July article by WSJ says "Iran exceeded one of the key limits in the 2015 nuclear agreement. But experts say that it is only a small step…" With this said, it's clear Vox had intentionally left that detail out to make it seem like Trump started the whole mess. No, Iran did

  8. Why the U.S. USED to fight over the straights of Hormuz. There i fixed it for you. After 2016 the U.S. SUDDENLY remembered how to drill for it's own oil and no longer needs ANYTHING from the middle east.

  9. US always involved in any global issue when it comes to oil and money

    they say its a threat if there is another country trying to outrank them

  10. For world peace uphold UN resolution on Kashmir, Let the people vote for their future. Stop modi the butcher of india, stop Nuclear war, stop nuclear winter, stop poisoning the planet.

  11. If someone has brought down US passenger plane as they did with irian passenger flight, US would have started another drama to attack Iran in the name of nuclear program.

  12. What Trump failed to realize regarding the Iran Nuclear Deal is that even if it was not ideal, it was a step in the right direction. It not being the best deal possible of the US is an absolutely idiotic reason to abandon it, since diplomacy is about compromise.

    Diplomacy is very far removed from the world of business deals Trump knows well and thinks that this like any other deal he has made before. The business deals he knows are based on number and facts, profits and not making profits, it is all black and white, and if you don't get what you want out if, there is little choice but to abandon the deal.

    Diplomacy is the exact opposite, you are dealing with humans who are far more complex and unpredictable than numbers, who have egos and ambitions that can be hurt, and when that happens, in those moments of rage, they are capable of doing things like starting wars or committing other acts that would be in the detriment of everyone.

    If the US is so adamant about stopping all funding for terrorists, why don't they impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia?

  13. British Navy captured Iranian tanker in Gibraltar strait under order of US.
    The tanker was seized without any reason.
    So Iran decided to do the same thing in the strait of Hormuz with the British tanker.

  14. Obama deal didn’t stop Iran from getting a nuke. And they didn’t follow the rules of that deal anyways but I guess who cares about truth just orange mad bad

  15. 🙋Hi sir, i am a subscriber of u r channel .Plz explain and make one video BALOCHISTAN history , thousands of citizens missing…,development and border problems….👍

  16. I never understand when US, Russia made nuclear bomb :- bro it's for our safety
    when others start to made nuclear weapon, US, Russia :- noooo, it's harmful, destructive
    [so why you are keeping those bomb]

  17. crippling a country with sanctions and then acting hysterical when they start to act desperately is the oldest trick in the book,just ask japan.

  18. Why don't they just build a canal through the UAE so that the ships can get through without passing through iranian waters? They're separating Qatar from Saudi Arabia so why cant they do this?

  19. US is doing what it did to Japan, Korea, Iraq, Syria, Turkey by bullying, threatening and killing civilians…nothing new..like the American blacks , Indians and the Latinos

  20. After reading the comments on multiple Vox videos, I can conclude that Vox and it's watchers can make everything anti – America, even filtering out facts, or deliberately manipulating them just to say "America is Bad". It's just sad.

  21. And watch dear Obama asking Why duterte killing rebels. And Obama choked when duterte point that he's killing innocent Rolf.

  22. US is just want another war, they’ll find excuse or even make one. How iran neighbour’s Iraq is invaded because of WMD which eventually not exist and turn the country as failed state, ISIS breeding ground and unleash waves of refugees to europe.

  23. all the more reason to invest in renewable energy. imagine not needing to rely on oil.. you could tell them to shove it with their waterway

  24. No country should possess nuclear weapons: neither the U.S., nor Russia or any other country, either developed or not!
    Nuclear research, for energy or weapons will end killing us all… both rich and poor!!… Luckily, Earth will recover and life will carry on … The only sad thing is that death will be slow, so slow … with children and the elderly people suffering the most!

  25. How 'bout a pipeline from Dubai to Fujairah? Apx 60 miles. Would make Iran's game more difficult for them and tankers easier to defend. Check it out on a map. At a cost yes. But with a benefit.

  26. If Iran doesn’t fold soon the US could literally destroy them without lifting a finger, it’s literally like a 1000 ton weight vs a child, know who will win every time

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