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 comments

  1. America has nukes Iran trying to make nuke America THATS A WEAPON OF MASS DISTRUCTION Edit: OOF somebody did already

  2. We call this the straights….in the navy. When we would go through here Iran would bother us. This is a high traffic area connecting the middle east Africa and Asia.

  3. This was a good video until you conveniently left out the fact that the Iran deal is in fact a bad deal. Iran needed a notice (believe 12 months) prior to entering their nuclear facilities.

    But hey, anything to make the deal look good and push and agenda right?

  4. Imagine for a second Iran sending War ships, Drones, and Nuclear capable stealth bombers down to the Golf of Mexico.

  5. How can you fail to mention the fact that the Iranian deal entailed the US giving Iran money and that Iran completely disregarded the deal and continued to make WOMD?

  6. Even though the US has been really bad with Iran you should still not support Iran because Iran is a dictatorship and we shouldn't say that they are innocent

  7. I was on the Carl Vinson in 2011 when we went through the straits. It's interesting hearing more about the events. We were always out of the loop and the news was always a week behind what was actually going on.

  8. They blame iran, its not like its a fact they caused this. This is US propoganda done by vox. You are supporting US media strategy to get support from war and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  9. How did Gail make it through 8:37 without smiling? The "L" and "C" keys are nowhere near each other on the keyboards, so how'd he make that blooper?

  10. Whenever there is a conflict in the world, there is one country always involved directly or in directly.
    Guess the country?

  11. So basically proving the war with Iran never was or has been about 9/11 or “weapons of mass destruction”…it’s about keeping the Petro-dollar alive

  12. It is an ARABIAN GULF. Please check the real facts about the name of the gulf. Especially the people who live surrounding the gulf All of them are coming from Arab tribes . The Persian people haven’t lived in the coast of the Arabian gulf because of the Zagros mountains that separated between the two nations.

  13. All of them are lieing to you america is doing all of the terorrist thing we are only defending of our sef

    America is attacking us
    You dont know a bit ok????

  14. This is just a thought, but if we converted from oil to green energy, this whole thing would never happen(I'm probably wrong).

  15. Bruhh… let me remind you that the USA has more than 1000 nukes, and were the only country in using them. (Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

  16. The Military Industrial Complex is NOT the United States Of America Government.
    (*Shocker*)
    The Government, govern the mental, is as it is. To be the Shadow elite over the majority of ignorant, content individuals who will be spoon fed what to think or feel.

    The US Military is a tool of the UN, Club Of Rome, Tri-Lateral committee, etc. and all and all a tool of Men wickedly manipulated by their own lusts to follow after HaSatan and the rest of the Fallen.

    Iran is in on it too.

    Don’t fall for this script…They’ve been using it for years. Can we move on now?
    Don’t even give them the time of day for their petty War crimes and patriotic manipulations.

  17. Well if USA would mind their own business once in history…. without invading any country. This wouldnt be happening.

  18. i'm okay with iran attacking oil because it's currently destroying the planet. we need all the incentives to stop using oil that we can get.

  19. It should be ‘’The US warship claimed to mistook an Iran aircraft ‘’,come on, we all know it was intentional.

  20. And then Trump throws this all away just because Obama did it and Republicans want another Iraqi like war.

  21. If the US attacks Iran, we Pakistan will provide covert financial and military support to Iran while also making the US think we are their allies, like we did in Afghanistan. Masters of the double game 😉

  22. Another great video by Vox. Just remember guys, there are always two sides to the stories and then there's the truth. Sometimes neither sides aren't the whole truth. What you see on Youtube is just one side's explanation. Go figure the rest yourself. Stay objective.

  23. You don't need to have nuclear weapons to be powerful the country of Vietnam flighted 3 nuclear power countries France its colonizer, USA in Vietnam War and China its aggressive neighbor and defeated all of them.

  24. US shot down an Iranian plane killing all civilians onboarded, I guess that doesn't matter as long as they are not American or its Allies… what a world

  25. All things to which Pompeo thrusts himself into go wrong and end up in failure though they showed signs of positive developments.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho

    My symphty goes to the next Usa Goverment

    Because after this i dont know how to trust US diplomacy

  26. irony, USA government says 100% legal for USA to support terrorism as allies. Other's are labelled proxy or terrorism.

  27. So instead of rearranging the jenga tower the US and Iran built and maybe at least re discussing the treaty, trump just knocks the whole thing down on very flimsy evidence no one else was allowed to see, with other countries stating Iran was doing its part and just ending the deal without, you know, at least talking about it, would escalate this.

    I’m not the biggest fan of Iran but it seems they can use this as a moral high ground given, trumps recent escapades diplomatically

  28. I like how everyone is talking about how America shot down the Iranian passenger plane but nobody is talking about how Iran was attacking neutral countries.

  29. Problem with the world is not Iran, Russia, North Korea. Its America, the sooner people understand this the better.

  30. very conveniently left out the US and CIA overthrew Iran's democratic gov't, turning Persia from the most liberal Muslim state into one of the most conservative one, good job the US.

  31. People here commenting are like protecting Iran.. Iran itself is selfish.. If you don't want US take an action for it. So be it. The outcome will be nuclear attack that can wipe out a country or city.

  32. Every move Individual 1 makes is the wrong one, it is as if he was acting in the interest of another country. Why do MAGAts wear red hats?

  33. I don't support many of the actions taken by the Iranian government in the past few decades, but if you look back at history, you'll understand why Iran becomes 'hostile' towards the west – the USA overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government in 1953.

    USA is the axis of evil, a terrorist nation.

  34. Am I the only one surprised by this? If there are 2 words to describe the Middle East it’s reasonable and peaceful. Why is there hostility in this region? I don’ t understand…..

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