Over the last decade, Iran has been causing more and more headaches for oil tanker operators in the Strait of Hormuz, a central artery of global trade. In the last two years alone, Iran has harassed, attacked or interfered with 15 internationally flagged merchant vessels.
This critical waterway separates the Persian Gulf from the Arabian Sea, which makes it an important conduit for millions of barrels of oil that flow through the region.
"These tanker seizures, whether this is a sheer coincidence or not, is happening around the time that we have just passed the five-year anniversary of the Trump administration withdrawing from the nuclear deal," said Arona Baigal, research assistant for the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
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