Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

GCC Reiterates Rejection of Impeding Int’l Navigation in Arab Gulf Waters

GCC Reiterates Rejection of Impeding Int’l Navigation in Arab Gulf Waters

Wednesday, 4 August, 2021 - 08:15
An oil tanker sailing Arab Gulf waters escorted by boats belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. (AP)

The recent Iranian attack on Israel’s Zodiac Maritime-operated product tanker Mercer Street in the Arabian Sea has raised more speculation around how greater international navigation safety can be ensured.

For Iran, threatening the security of Gulf states is a favored option in terms of retaliation missions against foes in the region.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) called on the international community to stop such “aggressions against navigation” in the oil-rich region.

Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the GCC, condemned the attack and called on the international community to assume its responsibilities to ensure that they are not repeated and in a manner that preserves the movement of trade and oil supplies, as well as maintains security and stability in the region.

Al-Hajraf said the GCC strongly calls for the safety and security of international maritime transport and rejects any impediment to the movement of ships and tankers.

The GCC also calls on all countries to abide by international conventions and norms regulating navigation and ensuring its safety, he added in a statement.

Political researcher Dr. Abdul Majeed Al-Jalal described Iran’s attacks in Arab Gulf waters as a dangerous escalation that affects the safety of trade and security in the region.

He noted that Iran’s bullying is increasing amid lax positions from the US and Europe.

“It is imperative to combine regional and international efforts to confront Iran’s aggressive behavior,” Al-Jalal told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“It is unfortunate that the US and the West, in general, focus on the Iranian nuclear program while ignoring Gulf states’ concerns about its interference in the region and its use of ballistic missiles,” he explained.

According to Al-Jalal, the international community, especially the US, needs to guarantee the safety of navigation in Arab Gulf waters in nuclear talks with Iran.

The damage sustained from Iran’s persistent assaults on ships and tankers sailing Gulf waters is not limited to the region. It has repercussions that echo worldwide.

Each of the US, Europe, and Russia has put forth proposals for maintaining the security of waterways in the region. Still, observers believe that the initiatives will remain weak and futile so long that Tehran evades its commitments and insists on its belligerent activities.

Editor Picks