The risks of trading in the Middle East remain of real concern
by Craig Jallal
Pre-Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest challenges facing tanker operators was the Middle East. Specifically, how to pass by Somalia pirates (a situation largely resolved) and then negotiate the Straits of Hormuz without unwelcome attention from Iran’s Republic Guards.
The latter remains a challenge and a worry in equal measure. In September 2019, the 2018-built, 49,700 dwt chemicals and products tanker Stena Impero left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas after being detained in the Strait of Hormuz as part of a tit-for-tat exchange between Iran and the UK, which had detained an Iranian-connected tanker in Gibraltar two weeks earlier.