Nothing is likely to deter Iran

Efforts continue to secure navigation and oil shipping routes in the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Bab Al-Mandeb and the Red Sea.

Omani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yusuf Bin Alawi went to Teheran yesterday (27/7/19) for talks about security in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman.

During his visit to Teheran, Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, but also met with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.

Shamkhani is preparing to hold a meeting in Tehran for senior security officials from different countries to discuss the future of security in the Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz.

The United States sent 500 troops to the Prince Sultan Airbase in Riyadh last week within the context of these efforts. This coincided with the delivery of the first General Atomics Predator XP unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) there.

Sending US troops to the Kingdom makes the move look rather symbolic at a time when the United States has a naval base in Bahrain, airbases in the UAE and Qatar as well as military camps in Iraq and Kuwait.

This does not seem to deter Iran, which keeps holding a British oil tanker despite British warnings and keeps exporting oil despite US sanctions. President Trump is upset that China is helping Iran continue to pump oil and store it close to potential consumers.

In the meantime, there is talk about a new “hawkish command” around Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to face President Trump and the hawks within his administration.

In Iraq, the Iranians do not help Iraqi PM Adel Abdulmahdi bring the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) under control.

Abdulmahdi travelled to Tehran on 22/07/2019 looking for solution.

Chief of Staff of the Saudi Armed Forces General Fayyadh Al-Ruwaili is said to have informed his Iraqi counterpart Lt-General Othman Al-Ghanmi that Saudi Arabia has conditions to provide support for the Iraqi Army projects along the border between the two countries.

One of the conditions is to get IRGC-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah fighters withdrawn from positions along the border, in particular from the Iraqi town of Nukhayb near the Saudi Arar border crossing.

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