HomeTop StoriesUS-led naval group warns ships to avoid Iranian waters to avoid seizure

US-led naval group warns ships to avoid Iranian waters to avoid seizure

DUBAI (Reuters) – A US-led naval coalition in the Gulf has warned ships in the region to stay out of Iranian waters to avoid possible seizure, the US Navy said.

The warning shows that tensions remain high in and around the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran seized tankers in late April and early May, as Washington and Tehran strike a deal to release five US citizens imprisoned in Iran and the US allows $6 billion in Iranian funds to be held in South Korea for thawing.

“The International Maritime Security Construct is notifying regional seamen of appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of seizure based on current regional tensions, which we are seeking to de-escalate,” said Commander Timothy Hawkins, spokesman for the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet. on Saturday.

“Ships are advised to sail as far away from Iranian territorial waters as possible.”

About a fifth of the world’s crude oil and oil products pass through the Strait of Hormuz, a bottleneck between Iran and Oman at the mouth of the Gulf.

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The agreement to release US citizens from Iranian prison and allow them to return to the US would allay a major resentment between Washington and Tehran, which remain at odds over issues from Iran’s nuclear program to aid from Tehran to regional Shia militias.

The United States would release some Iranians from US prisons as part of the deal, Iran’s mission to the United Nations has said.

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by William Mallard)

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