The US. maritime agency has advised US-flagged commercial vessels bound for the Gulf to clear their transit plans in advance with American and British naval authorities following several incidents over tankers involving Iran. “Heightened military activity and increased political tensions in this region continue to pose serious threats to commercial vessels,” along with potential miscalculations, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) warned.
DEBKAfile adds: This advisory was the first action of the US-UK security force that was set up to protect Gulf navigation in Gulf waters. Earlier this week, foreign minister Yisrael Katz said Israel was joining the force. Iran’s Defense Minister, Amir Hatami responded on Thursday by saying that the formation of a US-led flotilla in the Gulf would “increase insecurity” and that any Israeli involvement would have “disastrous consequences” for the region.