Trump Questions US Defense of Oil Shipping Routes
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump questioned U.S. protections of oil-shipping routes in the Strait of Hormuz, as tension flares with Iran following the Tehran’s alleged attacks on tankers and downing of an American drone.
“So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships,” Trump said Monday on Twitter.
China gets 91% of its Oil from the Straight, Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2019
....a dangerous journey. We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world! The U.S. request for Iran is very simple - No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2019
The president has said the U.S. will impose major new sanctions on Iran Monday, days after he abruptly called off a plan for airstrikes against the Islamic Republic after Iran shot down a U.S. Navy drone.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi on Monday to meet with Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince following the drone attack and after Trump initially approved, then later rejected, a plan to respond with military force. The U.S. has since sought to smooth anxieties with allies who may have seen the decision to refrain from retaliation as encouraging further Iranian aggression.
A key focus for the U.S. is to gain support for better safeguards for commercial ships that pass through the Strait of Hormuz, the location where the U.S. accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers with limpet mines -- a charge Tehran denies. In a call with reporters Monday, Pompeo’s envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said more than 60% of the oil that passes through the strait goes to Asian countries.
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