What is the Strait of Hormuz 1
Note: Iran & Strait of Hormuz
If anyone remembers my list of notable items before Christmas: A US submarine with quite a few cruise missiles had entered the Persian Gulf. And the region currently remains a hotspot - the messages from the past 24 hours:
• On Monday (today) Iran has the South Korean tanker Hankuk Chemi fixed. The ship is said to have violated environmental regulations while crossing the Strait of Hormuz - from the report by the Iranian news agency FARS News:
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced that it has stopped a South Korean-flagged ship for environmental pollution in the Persian Gulf, adding that the ship has been taken to a port in Southern Iran.
"The tanker, HANKUK CHEMI, carrying 7,200 tons of oil chemicals had been violating environmental protocols repeatedly since it set off from the Saudi Al-Jobail port," it added, and said the case with the tanker will be referred to the Iranian judiciary now .
The South Korean shipping company denies any environmental pollution - and the country's navy has set ships that are operating to combat piracy in the international Task Force 151 (CTF151) in the region towards the Strait of Hormuz, as the Korean news agency Yonhap reports:
The operator of a South Korean-flagged oil tanker seized by Iran Monday denied that the vessel polluted waters in the Persian Gulf.
An official from the operator, DM Shipping, based in the southeastern city of Busan, said that the Iranian authorities contacted the vessel, MT Hankuk Chemi, as it sailed in high seas and that there was no pollution.
Seoul’s foreign ministry confirmed that the ship, which was traveling in waters near Oman, is moving towards Iranian waters upon Iranian authorities ‘request. It said that South Korea’s anti-piracy Cheonghae Unit is moving toward the scene. (...) The defense ministry said that it will deal with the seizure in cooperation with the ministries of foreign affairs and fisheries, and a multinational naval force operating in nearby waters.
It is unclear which South Korean warship is in use; the destroyer Dae Jo-yeong had returned from the region in the autumn of last year and was supposed to have been destroyed by another destroyer of the Chungmugong-Yi-Sun-sin-Class to be replaced.
Update January 5th - from Yonhap:
South Korea’s anti-piracy unit began operations in waters near the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday to respond to heightened tensions after Iran’s seizure of a South Korean oil tanker, officials said. (...)
"The Cheonghae Unit arrived in waters near the Hormuz Strait earlier in the day. It is carrying out missions to ensure the safety of our nationals, “ministry spokesperson Boo Seung-chan told a regular briefing.
The ministry refused to give details, but officials stressed that the unit is not taking military actions for the release. (...)
The 33rd contingent of the 300-strong Cheonghae Unit on the 4,400-ton destroyer Choi Young has been in the Middle Eastern region since late last year to conduct anti-piracy missions.
• On Sunday (yesterday) the US Department of Defense announced that the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, contrary to the previous plan, would remain stationed in the region for the time being:
The following statement is attributable to Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller.
"Due to the recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other U.S. government officials, I have ordered the USS Nimitz to halt its routine redeployment. The USS Nimitz will now remain on station in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America. "
• This is all happening against the background of, among other things, the new level of uranium enrichment announced by Iran in its plants:
Violation of the Atomic Pact - Iran starts enriching uranium
Addendum: Iran has announced a large-scale drone exercise for the next few days:
Brief report on Iranian TV tonight with a glimpse at drones that will feature in a major two-day exercise starting tomorrow. Combat, ISR, electronic warfare, and Kamikaze drones will be used. #Iran 1/2 pic.twitter.com/ddTgV1sKuN
- Kian Sharifi (@KianSharifi) January 4, 2021
The rest of the report 👇 pic.twitter.com/NGowh0hs3h
- Kian Sharifi (@KianSharifi) January 4, 2021
(Photo above: The South Korean tanker Hankuk Chemi off Iran - FARS News Agency under CC-BY 4.0 license; Photo below: Archive photo 2020 of the destroyer Dae Jo-yeong in anti-piracy operation - CTF151)
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