Trouble ahead for Iran,UK to triple the size of its base in Omani port
Britain on Friday proclaimed $30.5 million (25.7 million euros) investment to triple the capacity of its headquarters in an Omani port close to the seas of the Gulf. The enlargement of the logistics hub at Duqm will facilitate Royal Navy deployments to the Indian Ocean and further support British Army training in Oman, the British Ministry of Defense affirmed.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, during his visit to Oman, affirmed that the long-standing friendships between the UK and the Gulf states are more important than ever. Whether tackling self-proclaimed Islamic State (Daesh) or securing streets in the UK thanks to their intelligence networks, these are hugely valuable relationships that he is pleased to be able to renew this week, he stressed.
The port has a straight harbor facility, which could support Britain’s two aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. London transferred warships to the Gulf last year to escort freight ships following Iranian Revolutionary Guards stormed and detained the UK-flagged Stena Impero and its twenty-three crew as they sailed through the Strait of Hormuz.
Official talks between His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik bin Taimour Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Affairs and Ben Wallace, visiting the Sultanate, were held at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Al Murtafa Camp in Muscat two days ago.The two sides touched upon the joint defence agreement and emphasized its importance in the interest of the two friendly countries.
Mohammed bin Nasser Al Rasbi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, Maj-Gen. Mattar bin Salem Al Balushi, Commander of the Royal Army of Oman (RAO), Hamish Cowell, UK Ambassador to the Sultanate and a small delegation of high officials attended the meeting.
Iranian military forces, with the aid of a helicopter, boarded a chemical tanker in the waters of the Gulf of Oman last month. The ship being was the m / t Wila, a tanker used for chemical transport, flying the flag of Liberia of 8,100 deadweight tons.The first notes from the maritime security intelligence company, Drvad Global, indicated that the tanker was intercepted 23 nautical miles north-west of the Kfor Fakkan anchorage area, south-east of the Strait of Hormuz.
The video was shared on Twitter by the central command of the United States (CENTCOM), claiming that the chemical tanker m / t Wila was first approached and then boarded by an Iranian “Sea King” helicopter and two military ships.The Iranian government has not issued any declaration on the matter, as, after boarding, the ship has not suffered any naval restrictions.Over the past two years, Iran has boarded and stopped several merchant ships in the region due to rising tensions with neighboring countries and the West.