Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Goals of the American return to the waters of the Arabian Gulf

Wednesday 24/May/2023 - 07:43 PM
The Reference
Eslam Mohamed


The United States is currently adopting a plan that aims to return to the waters of the Arabian Gulf again, specifically militarily, as it intends to establish an international military alliance in which the waters of the Arabian Gulf and the water bodies close to it will be the headquarters of its expected operations and activities.


Deter threats to civilian navigation

The US Navy announced that its Fifth Fleet is seeking, in cooperation with US allies and partners in the region, to increase the rotation of naval vessels and aircraft that undertake the issue of conducting patrols in and around the Strait of Hormuz, namely the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, especially the northern part of it.

The US Navy statement, which was posted on Twitter, added that this increased presence supports international efforts to deter threats to civilian navigation and reassure sailors and ships passing through these waters, and that this increased presence of the multinational force supports deterring threats to commercial shipping.

It is noteworthy that, in addition to the intensive patrols, the US Fifth Fleet is working to enhance maritime security cooperation between the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) and European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH).

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command, stressed the need to stop the “unjustified, irresponsible and illegal” Iranian seizure and harassment of merchant ships, indicating the fleet's explicit commitment to protecting navigation rights in this important region.


Iranian harassment

Mohamed Ebadi, a researcher specializing in Iranian affairs, confirmed that it is noticeable that the American moves come in the wake of Tehran’s illegal harassment of commercial ships recently, and even regardless of the increase in the pace of these actions in the recent period, they generally constitute a great inconvenience to Western powers and a threat to international navigation. Over the past two years, it has been monitored that approximately 15 merchant ships flying flags belonging to different countries have been harassed, attacked, or interfered with their navigational rights at the hands of the Iranians, especially the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Navy.


Political goals

In a statement to the Reference, Ebadi considered that while the intervention of the American fleet and its allies, although it came with the direct goal to confront the destabilizing activities that contradict international law and undermine regional security, there is no doubt that this goal is not the whole story, but there are also other indirect goals of a political character, as the tensions in the Strait of Hormuz region are closely related to the issue of negotiations over the Iranian nuclear file and Tehran's attempt to exert pressure on the Western partners in the agreement, led by the United States.

He added that the matter is also related to the issue of the American-Chinese competition for influence in the Arab Gulf region following the success of Chinese foreign policy in rapprochement with the countries of the region and the conclusion of the Iranian-Saudi framework agreement, which represented a blow to the traditional American influence in this region that was the subject of an American commitment to defense and protection from Iranian threats, as this American commitment reached its climax in the 1980s, especially during the era of former US President Jimmy Carter, who declared this commitment explicitly.

Ebadi pointed out that, given that one-fifth of the world's crude oil and petroleum products pass through the Strait of Hormuz, the stability of the situation in this region is of international interest, but the American presence aims to for the West to prevail in the face of the expansion of Russian and Chinese influence and their regional ally Iran.