Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz (تنگهٔ هرمز in Persian) is a relatively narrow stretch of ocean between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf in the southwest. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and an enclave of Oman.

Table of contents
1 Strategic position of the islands
2 Etymology
3 Air tragedy
4 External links

Strategic position of the islands

Near the north coast are a few islands, which include Abu Musa island and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs islands, which were forcibly seized from the United Arab Emirates in the early 1970s, although joint sovereignty was kept until 1994. Iran shared control of Abu Musa with the United Arab Emirates since a 1971 agreement between Iran and the emirate of Sharjah (one of the seven emirates of the UAE). In April 1992, Iran expelled South Asian workers from Abu Musa, asserting full control of the island. Since then, the country has build up military forces on the island, stationing anti-aircraft missile batteries, artillery and Silkworm anti-ship missiles.

In a press conference on December 18, 1997, Iranian deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Maleki said that Iran supported the free flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, but reserved the option of closing off the shipping route if it is threatened.

Etymology

Compare Hormuz to Ormus, Ohrmuzd, Ahura Mazdah and Hormoz (a small island in the north of the strait)

Air tragedy

On July 3 of 1988, the Strait of Hormuz was site of one of the most controversial tragedies in aviation history: Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300, medium sized passenger jet, was shut down under confusing and mysterious circumstances by the US Navy ship, USS Vincennes. Everybody on board died, and an international situation was barely avoided, as the Iranian president bowed revenge on the Americans, but the American government called it a tragic accident.

External links

[1] Federation of American Science about the weapons on the islands

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