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PostSailing the Strait of Hormuz (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 06/19/19 4:12 pm)
Very informative post from Timothy Brown (18 June).
I know the Strait of Hormuz and its sea lanes very well, and went many many times through them.
Originally the territorial waters extended for 6 miles but then it was increased to 12 miles. Therefore, the Strait of Hormuz is completely open to innocent passage, while warships need permission.
The sea lanes, one for entering and the other for sailing out of the Persian Gulf, are close to the rocks near the coast of Oman, and inside its territorial waters.
The US does not recognize the theoretical closure of territorial waters up to 12 miles; however if I am not wrong in early 1941 a great democracy officially at peace extended its territorial waters well beyond this limit and then ordered to its Navy on 11 September 1941 to attack and sink any ship considered hostile.
Therefore following this precedent, the Iranian Navy may attack any ship that it considers not innocent passage in the entire Strait of Hormuz, as this great democracy had done in earlier years.
By the way the Iranian attacks on tankers of recent days remind me of the Iraq anthrax scare, the Tonkin incident, Pearl Harbor, the USS Maine and so on, but I may be wrong.
JE comments: Pearl Harbor, Eugenio? But let's stay on the subject at hand: Did the sea lanes through Hormuz follow the coast of Oman prior to 1979 as well? Meaning, does the course follow navigational demands or political realities?