TIMELINE: Rising Tension between Iran, West

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 10, 2019

The seized VLCC 'Grace 1 (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

The seized VLCC 'Grace 1 (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

Tensions between Iran and the West have escalated since U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports took full effect and British naval forces seized an Iranian supertanker.

Below is a timeline of recent incidents:

May 2 - The United States, which withdrew from an international nuclear accord between Iran and global powers in 2018, ends waivers that had allowed some mainly Asian importers to continue buying Iranian crude

May 5 - The United States says it is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East, citing threats from Iran

May 8 - Iran announces it will relax some curbs on its nuclear programme, stopping short of violating its 2015 deal with world powers but threatening more action if countries do not shield it from U.S. sanctions

May 10 - The U.S. Maritime Administration warns of possible Iranian attacks on shipping in the Gulf

May 12 - Four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, are attacked in the Gulf just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route. U.S. officials pin the blame on Iran, a charge Tehran denies

June 13 - Two tankers are attacked south of the Strait of Hormuz. Washington again blames Iran and Tehran denies any role

June 20 - Iran shoots down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone

July 4 - Royal Marines seize Iranian supertanker Grace 1 near Gibraltar on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions on Syria

July 5 - An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander threatens to seize a British ship unless the Grace 1 is released

July 7 - Iran says it will boost uranium enrichment above a cap set under the 2015 nuclear deal and will reduce its commitments to the pact, drawing a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump and expressions of concern from Germany, France and Britain

Writing by Jason Neely

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