Iran is using its sea power in the Gulf to show it will not be cowed by Washington's newly assertive Arab allies, prompting critics to accuse Tehran of destabilising the region.
Iranian ships fired shots at a Singapore-flagged
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards staged war games in the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, including a gunboat attack on a model US warship, in Tehran's latest display of military muscle in a Gulf shipping channel vital to world oil export
Iran plans to hold military drills in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil and gas shipping route, by next March, Iranian media quoted a commander from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as saying on Monday.
IRGC Navy Comm
A US navy ship that had been slated for decommissioning has been sent instead to the Gulf to help mine-clearing operations, the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain said, the latest move in a gradual US build-up as tensions with Iran smoulder.
Iran plans to build an oil terminal outside the Strait of Hormuz to ensure exports in the event of Gulf shipping problems and to ship Caspian oil, the oil ministry news website said on Monday.
Shana reported the head of the Iranian Oil Ter
Iran has built up its naval forces in the Gulf and prepared boats that could be used in suicide attacks, but the US Navy can prevent it from blocking the Strait of Hormuz, the commander of US naval forces in the region said.
Iran has made
Coastguards and naval forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have contingency plans for a possible attempt by Iran to shut the Strait of Hormuz, a Kuwaiti maritime official said on Monday.
Five of the six GCC members - Saudi Arabia,
Brent crude held above $110 on Tuesday on supply concerns as some Iranians renewed their threat to block Arab oil from leaving the Gulf, while fears over demand growth stemming from protracted negotiations over Greece's debt capped any gains.
The increase in tensions in the Arabian Gulf and the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial transit route for global hydrocarbon trade, may hit some firms, Fitch said.
Whilst Fitch considers that this is a low probability