Since dishonoring the P5+1 nuclear deal, the Trump Administration has made clear their goal is to bring Iranian oil exports to zero through sanctions. That’s wholly impractical, with many nations, including P5+1 deal signatories, saying they intend to keep buying from Iran despite US sanctions.
But Israel does have a navy and a burning desire to pick fights with Iran. In comments Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s Navy could soon be ordered to target Iranian oil tankers to prevent them selling oil abroad.
Netanyahu is trying to prevent Iran selling oil to nations like China without American permission as “smuggling,” and potential military attacks on oil tankers in international waters as enforcement of US sanctions. It’s not clear anyone else in the world, the US included, would generally consider that the case.
Israel’s Navy is generally made of small ships, nothing larger than a corvette or a small submarine, and it’s not clear how they would physically stop Iranian oil tankers, apart from deliberate sneak attacks that would cause huge oil spills and fuel international outcry.
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