Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway

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]

100 Replies to “Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway

  1. The image of a man crying over the casket of his loved one that WE the United States killed, got to me emotionally. Our hawkish foreign policy was, and still is, a scandal and we have every reason to be ashamed.

    Imagine how the media and establishment would respond if a Russian or Chinese navy ship was in the Gulf of Mexico and accidentally shot down a civilian 747 killing hundreds of people just trying to take a vacation. We would have declared WAR.

  2. Amazing video as always, but kindly use contrasting colours on the maps.

    The ones used are very similar hence it is difficult to differentiate between land and sea.

  3. For decades we were lead to belive that Iran are the bad guys meanwhile the US have been the instigators all this time.

  4. All this conflict and bloodshed could end right now if we actually made the effort to switch to renewable energy. Everywhere in the world has sunlight and a fair amount of wind.

  5. Trump should have never withdrew from the nuclear deal, it just shows how unreliable the American promise is

  6. So… Are we just going to ignore the British seizure of the Grace-1 in relation to the Stena Impero?
    C'mon Vox…

  7. U.S misunderstood passenger plane with a fighter jet while Iran laid mines purposefully for U.S sailors??

    Iran is leveraging Hormuz while U.S isn't playing it's dollar game??

    Didn't expected this from vox but a nice word play against Iran.

  8. Every country in the Middle East should be refusing to sell oil since they are the some of the first countries to be affected by Climate Change (a few years ago parts of Syria were already experiencing life threatening heat waves). Less oil being sold = less CO2, reduction of global warming, and prolonged livability in the Middle East. If we don’t change our oil habits the Middle East will become permanently unlivable.

  9. What about this time instead of spending money on a war to mantain oil cheap, you guys invest in lowering your dependency on fossil fuels?

  10. Don't listen to media … truth is Islamic republic is the BEST thing that happens for Saudi Arabia , Israel and even West…Saudi made so much money that build city in desert and become number one Airline …Israel become number military in the region..on and on…EVERYONE loves the current regime in Iran but pretend that they are bad

  11. So in summary the US creates a problem (backs Iran into a corner by supporting Iraq) takes almost 20 years to solve it (Iran Nuclear deal) then creates a conflict again by breaking an International nuclear deal, and sanctioning the countries economy, just so they can provoke them into a war. All while complaining and painting Iran as an evil nation.?‍♂️

  12. Why vox is showing of how reagan is sad about destroying iran airplane while goerge h w bush was president and he said i don’t care about fact, I don’t apologize for USA.


  14. Can you imagine if Iran shot down an ameirican flight with 200 + passengers and they said it was a mistake…..I’m not American neither iranian but I can clearly see America is the bully here ….

  15. One missing fact. Iran's cease of the English Tanker was a retaliation for an Iranian tanker being ceased by the British in Gibraltar against international law.

  16. Not another war for Godsakes haven't u learnt Ur lession from Iraq and Vietnam America ? Stop bothering other countries

  17. This waterway belongs to Iran.
    Iran is looking to kick this trash (the US) out the middle east.
    Enjoy watching Iran kick this trash around.

  18. The way the United States government treats Iran is very racist and unacceptable!!! The attitude is being applied towards China with Huawei.

  19. Good thing we withdrew. Don’t want to deal with a country that kills people if they don’t get attention. It’s like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

  20. VOX how come you never mention Iranian supertanker " GRACE 1 " which happened to be captured with John Bolton's order before Iran takes any action against British tanker "STENA IMPERO" , Trump was the first who started

  21. the 1st world countries stole irans ships first, iran is just responding to imperialist actions and they have all the right

  22. The 1953 Iranian coup d'état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d'état, was the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United States and the United Kingdom.

  23. This is such utter bs. Like such a one sided story…it insinuates that all this is Iran's fault. Which is clearly not true..

  24. I am an Iranian and I will tell you that vox just cover one side and doesn't care about other sides of the story first of all people in Iran like me are suffering because of this regime and US is doing very nice work to not let this terrorist regime have oil income for spreading thair toxic ideologies around the world if you ever had an Iranian friend you know this <<<<Vox is not a good source>>>>

  25. As the US you could stabilize your position by furthering projects like renewable energy and battery driven cars and hereby reducing the amount of oil needed to be imported. Just an idea.

  26. If the U.S. used green/renewable energy, we could be a net exporter of energy rather than net importer. Then no one needs to get oil from Iran or the Saudis.

  27. It’s so strange that there are people in the United States that honestly believe that Iran is “evil” for existing the way it does. We directly give billions of dollars to two other despotic islamist nations, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, one of which shares a border with Iran. Looking at the choices America has made in the last 40 years and the people they’ve decided to support (Saddam, the Taliban against the Soviets, multiple anti-democratic dictators in Africa and South America, drug traffickers in Central America, quite literally ISIS) I’d say America is pretty far gone. How much is too much to lose in the name of “freedom.”

  28. Iran: Is a totalitarian dictatorship who has openly criticized Israel and threatened to nuke or destroy the country
    USA: Stops Iran from getting nukes
    Everyone: ?? another act of US aggression ??? always interfering with foreign affairs ???

  29. Taiilored and framed information omitting other perspectives than the US POV and decontectualizing events and incidents like the tanker war or shootdown of an Iranian plane.

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