Trump: We Won’t Protect Foreign Oil Tankers For Free

Countries that get their crude oil via the shipping routes in the Middle East should protect their own ships along the lanes, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday, as tensions between the United States and Iran continue to simmer.

“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,” President Trump tweeted on Monday.

“All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been 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!” President Trump said.

Earlier this month, two oil tankers—one owned by a Japanese firm and the other by a Norwegian company—were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the open seas. The daily flows of oil through the Strait of Hormuz accounts for around 30 percent of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids.

While Iran vehemently denies involvement in the attacks on the two oil tankers, the U.S. is blaming the Islamic Republic of being behind the attacks. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last weekend that the Strait of Hormuz will remain open for all vessels.

Days later, Iran shot down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz, claiming it had violated Iran’s air space. The U.S. says that the drone was in international air space. The tension increased at the end of last week, sending oil prices surging. The U.S. had apparently prepared a response to the attacks with planned strikes on Iranian targets, before President Trump stopped a planned strike 10 minutes before the strikes, because, he said, they were “not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com