Tehran Times – The Iranian parliament plans to approve a motion that would allow the country to begin charging foreign ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz for providing their security.
Amirhossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, a member of the parliament’s presiding board, said on Sunday that 10 motions have been proposed by a parliamentary faction, including the motion to charge foreign ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
Since Iran is the true provider of security in the region and international waters, the parliament believes that based on international norms and given the U.S. government’s actions, the costs of providing security should be paid by commercial centers and all vessels in the region “in the form of tolls”, Tasnim quoted Qazizadeh Hashemi as saying.
As foreign ships pass through the Strait of Hormuz they enter the Iranian-controlled waters and therefore Iran should collect tolls from them, the MP added.
Close to one-fifth of the world’s crude oil is supplied by Persian Gulf countries that rely on travel through the Strait of Hormuz, which is twenty-one miles wide at its narrowest point.
The remarks come against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the U.S., since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last year and ratcheted up pressure on Iran.
Since then, the Trump administration has been trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, F-22 fighter jets and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil