Israeli Navy ready to block Iranian oil exports

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to use its naval force to block Iranian oil shipments circumventing unilaterally imposed US sanctions against Tehran.

“Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through the covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea. As these attempts expand, the navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions,” Netanyahu said at a navy cadets’ graduation ceremony in Haifa on Wednesday.

Netanyahu failed to explain how Israel’s relatively small naval force would impose the suggested blockade against Iranian oil tankers. The Israeli PM only emphasized that Israeli sailors are well-trained and adept at carrying out sea missions against adversaries.

Washington sanctioned Iran’s oil, shipping and banking industries last November after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 JCPOA ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ to applause from Israel, and to strong objections from the other signatories of the milestone accord and from Tehran’s business partners.

Aiming to reduce Tehran’s oil exports to “zero,” the US threatened global oil buyers with secondary sanctions. Then, after the pressure failed to achieve expected results, a handful of countries were granted a special exemption, with Washington generously allowing them to continue buying crude from Tehran, for the time being.