July 12, 2019

Iranian boats tried to impede a British Heritage oil tanker near near the disputed Abu Musa island before being driven off by a Royal Navy ship.


  • Location: Abu Musa is an island in the eastern Persian Gulf near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. 

  • Administration: The island is administered by Iran as part of its province of Hormozgan, but is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates as a territory of the emirate of Sharjah. 

  • Significance: 
    • Due to the depth of sea, oil tankers and big ships have to pass between Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs; this makes these islands some of the most strategic points in the Persian Gulf. 

    • These are claimed by both Iran and the UAE but occupied solely by Iranian forces.The islands have been militarized, and each sport small-boat harbors, airstrips and, presumably, a full suite of missiles, radars and other surveillance gear.