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 thoughts on “Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway”

  1. This is such utter bs. Like such a one sided story…it insinuates that all this is Iran's fault. Which is clearly not true..

  2. I am an Iranian and I will tell you that vox just cover one side and doesn't care about other sides of the story first of all people in Iran like me are suffering because of this regime and US is doing very nice work to not let this terrorist regime have oil income for spreading thair toxic ideologies around the world if you ever had an Iranian friend you know this <<<<Vox is not a good source>>>>

  3. As the US you could stabilize your position by furthering projects like renewable energy and battery driven cars and hereby reducing the amount of oil needed to be imported. Just an idea.

  4. If the U.S. used green/renewable energy, we could be a net exporter of energy rather than net importer. Then no one needs to get oil from Iran or the Saudis.

  5. It’s so strange that there are people in the United States that honestly believe that Iran is “evil” for existing the way it does. We directly give billions of dollars to two other despotic islamist nations, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, one of which shares a border with Iran. Looking at the choices America has made in the last 40 years and the people they’ve decided to support (Saddam, the Taliban against the Soviets, multiple anti-democratic dictators in Africa and South America, drug traffickers in Central America, quite literally ISIS) I’d say America is pretty far gone. How much is too much to lose in the name of “freedom.”

  6. Iran: Is a totalitarian dictatorship who has openly criticized Israel and threatened to nuke or destroy the country
    USA: Stops Iran from getting nukes
    Everyone: ?? another act of US aggression ??? always interfering with foreign affairs ???

  7. Taiilored and framed information omitting other perspectives than the US POV and decontectualizing events and incidents like the tanker war or shootdown of an Iranian plane.

  8. Plot these incidents on a map and you'll see that after years of peaceful passage, all of a sudden ships begin to blow up mysteriously with Trumps urging to wage war. Also: the west started the whole "capture ships" clown fiesta over there. Iran, so far, is retaliating.

  9. You gotta have conflict to maintain the military industrial complex. If conflict doesn’t already exist, you gotta make it.

  10. Let’s not forget that the US started it all by meddling with Iran‘s politics when they installed the Shah to obtain cheap oil

  11. During the Tanker Wars, the largest portion of the attacks was directed by Iraq against vessels in Iranian waters, with the Iraqis launching three times as many attacks as the Iranians.

    America sells Iraq weapons and then Iraq uses those weapons to conduct massively disorganized and destructive attacks of Iranian vessels in their territory. When Iran defends itself, suddenly the US goes after Iran and not only allows Iraq to continue with their destruction, but sells them weapons for them to do it.

    When this video talks about "both sides", it's mainly to defend the overtly aggressive and unprovoked actions of the United States is somehow equal to Iran seeking to defend itself. Really cool, guys.

  12. Obviously Iran wanting to stay in the deal means they’re getting good kick backs from it. So that would make Trump right. But in saying that the problem is like what Mr Zarif said “the United States is not interested in diplomacy”. This is what must be addressed first.

  13. I love Iran and i love the US
    But i will love you guys even more if you love each other
    Peace and love from Romania!

  14. A GLOWING IRAN would be grand welcome to the middle east for tourists. No flashlights needed. Large glowing glass ashtray full of smouldering turbins !!!

  15. 7:30 …for 10 years. Then they are free to do whatever they want, and they will be wealthy enough to do the very scary things they chant about doing.

    There, fixed it for ya.

  16. 4:52 – "…a major source of that distrust was Iran's nuclear program." That's the excuse tRUMP used when he withdrew from the 2015 treaty. There would be no war with Iran if they were complying with that treaty and the U.S. was a part of it. RUMP had to get out and start hurting the Iranian people with sanctions, which he also couldn't do as part of the treaty, if hostilities were going to increase to the point the U.S. could declare war. This war is, once again, about controlling oil. I thought, when RUMP belayed the attack on Iran, that it was just to distract media attention from Venezuela, another oil-rich country. Now it seems the U.S. means to take over the oil of both Iran and Venezuela. Who are the terrorists now? The U.S. government, as it is now, is a warmongering state with few checks or balances.

  17. Definition of terrorism : The unlawful use of intimidation and threat of violence on innocent civilians for political reasons. 
    The US government are organized terrorist the biggest threat to freedom and all nations globally.

  18. It still doesn’t make sense. America is a oil producer, it is least affected by international shortages of oil. It’s the oil consumers; Europe, India, China that are most vulnerable. Their navies should be the ones patrolling the strait protecting the oil tankers, not America’s. It shouldn’t be left to the US to safeguard the global oil supply, it needs to be a global effort.

  19. US puts sanctions and expects that the other side doesn't play their card ? Anybody could see this conflict coming from a mile away. Therefore this crisis could be solved with diplomacy instead of just withdrawing the agreement. I think that the US is deliberately withdrawing the agreement to weaken Iran so they can repeat what happend in Iraq and Afghanistan (killing "terrorists"). Tell me if I'm wrong ?

  20. US should stay out from other nations problems. Their “help” is just a strategy for making money and to conquer other territories. Very perverse…

  21. The CIA also fed Saddam Hussein intelligence in the Iran-Iraq war that was used to coordinate chemical weapons attacks on Iranian forces. But sure, the US gets to label the IRGC a "terrorist" group. The US has no room to speak on nuclear programs as long as we maintain the largest nuclear arsenal on Earth. The DPRK and Iran are both well within their rights to want nuclear arms to ensure MAD in the case of war (though I've never seen conclusive evidence of an Iranian nuke). Denuclearize the world, remove the cobalt from the plutonium warheads and use it for clean energy we desperately need.

  22. Funny how Iran as a nuclear threat isn't framed the same way it was a decade ago.
    Where it wasn't Iran themselves being the nuclear threat, but more on other forces in the region getting a hold of nukes made by Iran.
    I think it is clear the rest of the world and their intel confirm that Iran are rational actors, but the rightwing in the U.S. don't like that perspective.

  23. just imagine how (maybe even in the tiniest amount) international relations in the gulf would be if mossadegh didnt get assasinated…..everything for profit and industry

  24. Now I know naration America's media where is Islam terorist Come from. It's political oil and Israel still using proxy

  25. In the thumbnail, I thought the water and land was reversed, and I thought it was a picture of the panama canal area.

  26. The video explains the issue started way back to 80s but I read multiple comments about UK seizing of Iran tanker that occured recently like that is the greatest deal.

  27. They forgot to mention that the US has still not formally apologized for shooting down flight 655 killing all 290 people on board.

  28. China is not paying for the tariffs – But you are.
    Trump doesn't pay taxes – But you do.
    Trump doesn't think – But you can.

  29. Always gonna be war, it’s normal. Countries will always fight for resources, oil, etc. So I don’t think anyone should be surprise anymore, it’s been wars for thousands of years. And it will continue always.

  30. The world/humans can never get along. Better for human kind if Earth explodes into star dust to help form other planets. Thus, life outside of our galaxy. Lol

  31. Pretty reckless journalism not to mention that the UK seized an Iranian tanker first under the sanctions in place on Iran. Coming straight in missing half that story is why people dont trust the media anymore.

  32. Terrorism defined as the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
    Killing innocent people in that aircraft is terrorism!

  33. Hey Vox!
    It is called Persian Gulf !
    Always remember.
    Liar vox starts the video with a fast-forwarded time line. You forgot to mention that the UK navy pirates at gibraltar waterway illegally seized Iran's super-tanker grace 1(now renamed to Adrian Darya) first (which was released just days a go by court order). Seizure of British oil tanker by Iran was the reciprocal response.
    When you enter someone's back yard you do not set the rules THEY do. Again it is Persian Gulf not gulf of Mexico.

  34. As an Iranian, we might someday go for peace with the US government but we will never forget Flight 655

  35. because whiteskin foreigners are illegal in America they are terrorists occupying native indigenous indian lands and they are the only  people to have used nukes on another country whites should be ethnic cleansed.

  36. Vox has intentionally mistaken Saudis and Emirates' terrorist groups for Iranians. The Persian Gulf is Iran's backyard and the U.S. should simply BUZZ OFF.

  37. I guess there's an expensive solution
    building a bunch of pipelines up to the Mediterranean and use the ships there instead

  38. Everyone tries to be so righteous in their reasons for why they do things. Can't we just admit that they're for selfish interests?

  39. A decently small country with lots of problems looks for even more problems with a big powerful country with nothing to gain? Doesnt make sense if iran initiated all this. Now a powerful country looking to exploit some country with rich natural resources does make sense. Im sort of new to hearing about this but yea what would iran have to gain in having trouble with usa? I doubt thats what had happened.

  40. solution more pipelines, which there are several of already through UAE, Red Sea etc. would make the straight irrelevant

  41. Sooner technology will vastly improve and we will be able to discover other places rich with oil. When that time comes, the global economy won't have to be caught in the middle with these "Middle Easterners" who always engage in war to serve their selfish interests.

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