Bahrain to host conference to discuss Iranian naval security threats

The conference comes at a time in which the U.S. is seeking to build a coalition against possible naval attacks in the Gulf.

July 18, 2019 03:25
1 minute read.
Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz

Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz. (photo credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED)

Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa announced his country will host a conference to address Iranian threats to naval security in the Gulf, The National reported on Wednesday. 
Bahrain, a name which means ‘land of the two seas,’ is concerned about naval security of cargo ships as petrol is vital to its economy and interests. 
US officials believe the Islamic Republic seized a UAE tanker MT Riah over this past weekend. Iranian officials claim they were responding to a distress signal sent by the ship. The incident happened near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route for the world’s energy needs. 
Khalifa announced the upcoming conference alongside US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook at The Atlantic Council in Washington. 
The US is currently attempting to construct a coalition, called the Sentinel Programme, to “make it harder for Iran to disrupt freedom of commerce and navigation,” Hook said. 
Khalifa was clear that his country is not seeking a regime change in Iran and is willing to promote good relations with Teheran. “If the Islamic Republic takes a step forward, we will take two,” he said. 
It is unknown at the moment which countries will attend the conference. 

Earlier in July, British Royal Marines seized a giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

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