Texarkana, TX 65° Thu H 85° L 62° Fri H 88° L 67° Sat H 87° L 70° Weather Sponsored By:

U.S. can protect tankers with help from allies

U.S. can protect tankers with help from allies

June 19th, 2019 by Chicago Tribune in Opinion Columns

It was known as the "tanker war." In 1987, Iran wreaked havoc on global energy supplies moving through the Strait of Hormuz, using mines to attack Kuwaiti oil tankers and eventually triggering direct conflict between U.S. naval forces and Iranian vessels. The U.S. estimated that Iran had attacked more than 160 ships in its campaign to disrupt oil shipments from the Persian Gulf.

Is Tehran now taking a page from its 1980s playbook?

Washington says yes. The U.S. accuses Iran of carrying out a "blatant assault" on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, one Japanese-owned and the other Norwegian-owned. The U.S. believes Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps may have used mines in the attacks. On Friday, U.S. Central Command released video that it said showed a Revolutionary Guard patrol boat pulling up alongside one of the tankers and retrieving an unexploded limpet mine off the ship's hull.

Iran is also suspected of using mines to attack four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in May. President Donald Trump said there was no doubt of Iran's involvement in the tanker attacks, calling the regime "a nation of terror. They're in deep, deep trouble."

As for Washington's longer-term strategy toward Iran, the Trump administration should stay on course by squeezing Tehran with sanctions until supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's regime returns to the table to negotiate a better nuclear deal.

Washington's ramp-up of sanctions against Iran, particularly those aimed at Tehran's oil industry, have been effective. Iranian oil exports have dropped from 2.5 million barrels a day to below a million barrels. That has dealt a $10 billion broadside to Iran's economy. If Iran is indeed behind the latest tanker attacks, Tehran's motive may be to lash out at U.S. sanctions. Constrain our oil shipments? We'll constrain yours with limpet mine attacks on tankers.

An escalation of military tension in the region is in nobody's interest, and the Iranians likely understand that. But U.S. sanctions are doing their work and should continue. If European leaders would get on board, chances increase that conflict with Iran can be resolved the right way—through negotiations.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com