Russia, China seek calmer heads over Strait of Hormuz crisis

Thursday, July 11, 2019

China is calling on all sides to avoid raising tensions in the Persian Gulf after Britain said three Iranian vessels sought to disrupt the passage of a British oil tanker through the Strait of Hormuz.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says Beijing hopes the parties involved can “maintain cool and restraint” and safeguard peace and stability in the Gulf region.

Geng told reporters today that China, a huge customer for oil and gas shipped through the strait, recognizes the influence events in the region can have on the stability of the global supply of resources.

China was a signatory to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and has sought to keep it in effect, despite the U.S. pulling out and re-imposing sanctions.

The Kremlin is also calling for restraint.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters today that “freedom of navigation should be ensured in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz,” which he said is crucial for the global economy. Peskov says Moscow is aware of both Britain’s statement and Iran’s denial that it tried to impede the ship’s passage.

Peskov called on “all parties” to show restraint and settle their disputes by negotiations.-AP

Photo: British navy vessel HMS Montrose escorts another ship during a mission to remove chemical weapons from Syria at sea off coast of Cyprus in February 2014. The British Navy said it intercepted an attempt today, by three Iranian paramilitary vessels to impede the passage of a British commercial vessel just days after Iran’s president warned of repercussions for the seizure of its own supertanker.