Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway


This is the Stena Impero, a British
oil tanker traveling through the Persian Gulf. On July 19th 2019, it was on its way
to Saudi Arabia when it received a radio message from Iranian naval forces. Later, the Stena Impero was dramatically boarded and seized. Using speed boats and
helicopters Iran’s Revolutionary Guard took control of the British tanker and
took it to an Iranian port. The Stena Impero isn’t alone. Several oil tankers have run into trouble in recent months. Already troubled waters were further
roiled with attacks on two oil tankers. Three Iranian vessels tried to block a
British tanker. An unnamed US official is blaming Iran for explosions on four
ships. Iran declared it has seized an Iraqi oil
tanker. Plot these incidents on a map and you’ll see them centered around this
narrow ocean passage — the Strait of Hormuz. Dozens of oil tankers pass
through here daily each carrying up to 84 million gallons of oil. This flow of
oil represents 20% of the world’s supply. A former Iranian prime minister even
referred to this passage as the jugular of the global economy. But these ships
and this narrow strip of ocean are caught in the middle of a struggle – a
struggle between the U.S. and Iran. One that has the potential to escalate and
to choke the global economy in the process. The strait of hormuz lies between Iran
and Oman. It links the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman which eventually leads
to the Arabian Sea. At its narrowest the strait is less than 34 kilometers wide
and oil tankers that pass through here travel on a pair of shipping lanes each
three kilometers wide. Most of these ships carry petroleum products from the
Middle East to the rest of the world and in particular to Asia. But an attack on
any tanker here regardless of destination can affect the price of oil
everywhere. That’s because oil is a globally traded
product. A drop in supply from the Gulf can drive up prices from other sources
around the world. After two recent oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of
Hormuz the price of oil from the North Sea jumped nearly $2 per barrel.
It’s because of this strategic importance that the Strait of Hormuz has
become a place where long simmering tensions between the u.s. and Iran are
playing out. And it all began with the Tanker War. Saddam Hussein ordered his
troops across the Iranian frontier after a series of border skirmishes. War broke
out in the Middle East in 1980 after Iraq invaded Iran. The US helped Iraq and
its campaign against Iran by providing military intelligence behind the scenes.
When Iraq wasn’t able to topple Iranian forces over land it turned its attention
elsewhere. Missiles against tankers are the weapons that both sides are using to try and break the stalemate in their war on land. Iraq moved to cut off Iran’s
main export. It began attacking tankers carrying oil from Iranian ports in what
became known as the Tanker War. Iran eventually responded by attacking oil
tankers moving to and from the Gulf States some of which were supporting Iraq. But with Iraq being aided by the West Iran had to get creative. It turned
to sea mines and planted them around the Strait of Hormuz. For the first time Iran
was using the disruption of oil moving through Hormuz as a weapon. But these
disruptions finally drew the u.s. directly into the conflict. In 1987 the u.s. stepped in to protect the flow of oil for itself and its
allies by escorting tankers. Tensions between the two countries began to escalate. In 1988 a u.s. naval ship struck an Iranian mine injuring US
sailors on board. A couple months later a u.s. warship mistook an Iranian
passenger aircraft for a fighter jet and shot it down over the Strait of Hormuz
killing all 290 passengers. Ronald Reagan has issued a statement deeply regretting the loss of life in what he calls a terrible human tragedy. The iran-iraq war ended in
August 1988 but conflict between the u.s. and Iran continued for decades and
tensions and distrust grew on both sides. And a major source of that distrust was
Iran’s nuclear program. By 2002 suspicions were growing in the
u.s. around Iran’s intentions. By now Iran was fighting proxy wars around the Middle East and the u.s. feared an Iranian nuclear weapon could fall into
the wrong hands. Iran and their terrorist allies
constitute an axis of evil. By seeking weapons of mass destruction these
regimes pose a grave and growing danger. There were reports that Iran had
expansive and undisclosed nuclear facilities like this one in Natanz and
this facility in Arak. Finally in 2011 a UN report revealed that Iran has carried
out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive
device. The mutual distrust between the u.s. and Iran boiled over. They have not
found even one gram of uranium to be diverted to military purposes. Iran has
refused to satisfy legitimate concerns about the nature of its nuclear program.
The u.s. announced sweeping sanctions against Iran. President Obama signed an
executive order that for the first time specifically targets Iran’s
petrochemical industry. Iran’s oil exports dropped dramatically and with it
Iran’s income. The country’s economy began to shrink for the first time in
nearly a decade. To fight back Iran used the only
leverage it had — the Strait of Hormuz. Iran threatened to close the passage
saying not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz
if Iranian oil is sanctioned. And to back its threat Iran’s navy conducted a ten
day show of force in the strait. US naval forces followed suit
warning Iran that closing the strait would not be tolerated. The threats are
being ramped up over a vital oil shipping route. The chief of US Naval
Operations has told Al Jazeera his Navy is capable of securing the Strait of
Hormuz should it need to. u.s. Navy and the Coast Guard ships two close
encounters just last week. The Strait of Hormuz was once again a tense conflict
zone between Iran and the US but this time the two countries reached a
diplomatic solution. Today after two years of negotiations the United States
together with our international partners has achieved something that decades of
animosity has not — a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will
prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In 2015 Iran agreed to scale back
its nuclear program and to allow its nuclear facilities to be monitored in
exchange for sanctions relief. With sanctions lifted Iran’s oil exports
picked back up and Iran’s economy showed signs of recovering until 2018.
I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran
nuclear deal. The fact is this was a horrible one-sided deal that should have
never ever been made. Claiming the original deal with Iran didn’t go far
enough in addressing Iran’s terrorist proxy groups president Trump abandoned
the nuclear deal with Iran and put sanctions back in place. The ongoing
conflict between the two countries has turned Hormuz into a flashpoint once
again with tensions at levels not seen since the Tanker War. Tensions with Iran have reached a boiling point. Iran — trouble nothing but trouble. The
United States is not interested in diplomacy period. President Trump says
the military was quote cocked and loaded to carry out airstrikes against Iran.
Iran hopes that disrupting the passage of these international tankers will put
pressure on countries to stick with the nuclear deal while also putting pressure
on the u.s. to lift sanctions. But without the direct diplomatic contact
between the u.s. and Iran each run-in has the risk of escalating into war one
that could disrupt the jugular of the global economy in the process. [Music]

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Comments

  1. I do not know what my brain said it: why not build canals in UAE and Oman as a substitute for Hormuz strait?

  2. Who does the Strait of Hormuz belong to?

    A 21-mile-wide waterway

    Today the Strait of Hormuz separates Iran from the countries of Oman and the United Arab Emirates, which have strong military ties with the United States.Jul 19, 2019

    LOL
    good answer..
    but umm who does the strait of hormuz belong to ?..

    heres a tip..

    ITS CALLED THE PERSIAN GULF..
    the name of ancient IRAN is PERSIA ..

    did you work it out yet?

  3. You did conveniently leave out the part that the UK seized an Iranian vessel first in Gibraltar and the footage you started with is Iran responding by seizing a UK vessel. Everyone know's this? Why leave it out?

  4. Quick summary: "It's important". It amazes me how they can stretch a video and fill it with a bunch of cartoons to entertain an audience that will forget everything they just learned.
    It would help if the videos were made shorter.

  5. Obama spent 2 years negotiating a deal, then wild orangutan appears and ruins everything…👏🤦‍♂️

  6. America: allies and arms with terrorists, kills civilians, owns enough nukes to destroy earth
    Also America: hey Iran stop doing those things

  7. I feel like they missed out on explaining the fear of a country like Iran having a nuclear weapon, and how it reeled Fred of them using it considering how delicate the government regime is in concrete decisions and the proxy war it has with Israel, also I feel like it is video doesn't explain well how bad the actual nuclear deal was and how Iran repeatedly went against it while it was in place

  8. Why there is no video on how Indian gov had kept innocent Kashmiris house arrest for last 23 days , people have no access to medicines & food. Modi is the biggest terrorist & keeping people under curfew

  9. Thats how greed USA is, look upter they make to country fight and access to enter the country, now they fight back Pres: Saddam and killed Pres. Sadam, Iran just protecting what Iran has, USA usser and greed for more, you can't win for war specially when it come's religion, it will stand forever, nice move's Iran goverment smart move too.

  10. MBS was right. saudi Arabia does have an oil addiction so does the usa. Wich is why we should rely more on renewable energy sources

  11. Donald Trump is always trying to undo the good that Barack Obama did in his presidency. What is wrong with him? How is he allowed to do all of this harm? 🤦‍♂️

  12. Nothing like a Vox video to inspire a bunch of keyboard warriors to rally against capitalism using a device that never would have been conceived without it.🤔

  13. Please don't ridicule me for this question i'm about to ask. What are these "sanctions" that they speak of, why does Iran want them to be lifted. Also why were they sanctioned in the first place and who dictates these sanctions (I assume that the U.S. military are the ones making sure that these sanctions are met, but who's in charge in giving them out, how are they decided and why do they get to call the shots) are they coming from nato or just the states?

  14. Maybe iran should accidentally shoot down some American passenger planes and very much regret it. Give them some of their own medicine.

  15. Vox! Can you do a video about there is Hezbollah in my country Venezuela. They own mines under the protection of Nicolas Maduro and patrol the streets of towns around the mines with the AKs on plain sight!

  16. Whatever your opinion on Trump good or bad…..his pulling out of the Iran deal is complete stupidity and is basically just placing more pressure on Iran so they'll do something and America can invade

  17. Two most important straits for two superpowers
    Strait of hormus for united states controlled by iran
    Strait of mallaca for china
    Controlled by india
    😂😂 t

  18. Why do white ppl always have to tell the story. I'm sick and tired of these white people. Ww3 is coming for them.

  19. It's so fascinating how one country can dictate the future of the rest of the world (either good or bad)

  20. Israel's Unt
    (submarine division like our Navy Seals)
    hit that Japan ship
    and were given permission
    to down USA ships soon !
    (Kushner, Mossad agent, gave permission to Israel)

  21. US is evil country Support iran and humanity…… Shooting down a passenger plane and killing all the people can't accept in a civilised society.
    I forgot they all are the grandchildren of Murders, Red indians also wiped out by Devil US.
    History will remember you as a country of devils.

  22. The video is very good and informative as always.
    I just have two minor additions:
    1. The beginning of tensions between the US and Iran was actually not the tanker war with the following Gulf war, but the 1953 incident, where the US overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh
    2. The reason, that the conflict escalated a couple of weeks ago was related to the jcpoa, however it got jumpstarted by the capture of an Iranian tanker in the Gibraltar straight by the UK

  23. US just wants Monopoly over every country in the world. In this situation Iran did nothing wrong, why should China, America or Russia have nuclear weapons but Iran won't.

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