In 1967, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson gave up on the remnants of Pax Britannica. His Labour Government pulled British forces from Malaysia, Singapore, Yemen, Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and other Persian Gulf emirates. Denis Healey, the Defense Secretary, explained, "I don't very much like the idea of being a sort of white slaver for the Arab sheikhs." He did not wish for the indebted nation and its armed forces "to become mercenaries for people who would like to have a few British troops around." That truculent retreat handed responsibility for security in the Gulf and the Strait of Malacca to the United States.
Saudi Arabia says its oil tankers were attacked Sunday off the coast of UAE port city of Fujairah.; In this Friday, May 10, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Navy, logistics specialists attach cargo to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. The aircraft carrier strike group is being deployed to the Persian Gulf to counter an alleged but still-unspecified threat from Iran. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local): The Qatar-funded satellite news broadcaster Al-Jazeera says that Doha is trying to "defuse escalating tensions" across the Persian Gulf. Al-Jazeera cited an anonymous official on Wednesday night as saying that Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani had traveled to Tehran in recent days to speak with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
In September, 2011, I met General James Mattis, then in charge of U.S. Central Command, at its headquarters, in Tampa, Florida. Central Command directs American military forces in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The General's staff had agreed to allow me to travel with him on an extensive tour of "the sandbox," as American military officers sometimes call the region. The itinerary was the sort that a travel agent on hallucinogens might propose: Tampa-Amman-Cairo-Doha-Abu Dhabi-Islamabad-Kabul, plus a final stopover in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I would be the only reporter on his plane for eight days or so.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Britain will facilitate the release of a seized Iranian tanker Grace 1 if Iran can provide guarantees the vessel will not breach European sanctions on oil shipments to Syria, Britain's top diplomat said late Saturday. The comments by Jeremy Hunt could help de-escalate tensions that have spiked in recent days. In apparent retaliation for the seized tanker, Iranian paramilitary vessels tried to impede the passage of a British oil tanker through the Strait of Hormuz, only turning away after receiving "verbal warnings" from a British Royal Navy vessel accompanying the ship, the British government said. Hunt said he held a "constructive call" with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and reassured him "our concern was the destination, not the origin, of the oil." Hunt wrote that Zarif told him Iran is not seeking to escalate the situation.