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The Australian military seized a massive shipment of illicit drugs off the coast of Iran, interrupting a crucial funding source for terrorists in the Middle East.
The September 14 attack on Saudi targets in Abqaiq and Khurais was the most comprehensive blow against the global energy sector since Iraq’s seizure of Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent destruction of both countries’ energy infrastructures. Now, as then, US and international commitment to the security of global energy supplies is being tested.
This is not the Iraq War, and dislike of Trump would be a foolish reason not to protect Australia’s interests in maritime security and the free movement of energy in the region.
It’s no secret that the US and Australia retain close ties, share similar security interests and political values, and have even paid the ultimate price for them in places like the Middle East. It is in the Middle East however, that one of the greatest challenges to realising that shared vision is found: Iran.
This Update is focussed on the Iranian approach to the "tanker war" in the Persian Gulf - and to the seldom understood reality that Iran is not merely seizing and attacking tankers in response to the pressure it is under, but is actually asserting a direct claim to control and ownership of the economically vital Strait of Hormuz and wider Persian Gulf.