A flurry of oil tanker attacks in the world’s busiest transit lane for seaborne oil shipments has triggered grave concerns about maritime security, with President Donald Trump suggesting the U.S. could stop providing protection to other ships.
Six oil tankers and a U.S. spy drone have been attacked since May either in, or near, the Strait of Hormuz — a strategically important waterway which separates Iran, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Trump has since said the U.S. may lessen its role in the Strait of Hormuz, as domestic oil and gas output soars and U.S. energy imports from the Middle East decline.
The suggestion indicates a weakening of a nearly 40-year-old U.S. policy to defend national interests in the Persian Gulf and appeared to contradict White House officials seeking to reassure allies of the U.S. commitment to safe transport of energy through the narrow waterway.
In response to Trump, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, reportedly said Tuesday that the…