In the Strait of Hormuz, Little has Changed with Iran

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When the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in July 2015, you might have been forgiven for thinking that U.S. relations with Iran were on the path to stability. Although many U.S. sanctions remain in place and Iran still has difficulty accessing the international banking system, the JCPOA has allowed the country to renew legal oil exports, and the deal’s implementation in January 2016 should pave the way for further positive engagement with the Islamic Republic.

However, in the vital maritime corridor of the Strait of Hormuz, little seems to have changed. Instead, the number of hostile incidents between U.S. and Iranian naval vessels has skyrocketed in recent months. From the capture of ten U.S. sailors by Iranian forces in January – the sailors were released soon after – to four separate incidents of U.S. vessels being harassed by Iranian patrol boats in the course of just one week this August, tensions in and around the Persian Gulf continue to rise.

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