Prelims level : International Policies and Schemes Mains level : GS2R - Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
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Why in News?

  • Indian Navy on Thursday launched Operation Sankalp in the Gulf of Oman to re-assure Indian Flagged Vessels operating/ transiting through Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman following the maritime security incidents in the region.
  • INS Chennai & INS Sunayna have been deployed in the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf to undertake Maritime Security operations.


  • Amid rising tensions between the US and Iran as well as recent incidents related to maritime security, the Navy has deployed its warships in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to reassure the Indian vessels operating and transiting in the region.
  • In addition, aerial surveillance by Indian Navy aircraft was also being undertaken in the area.
  • The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region, which was inaugurated by the Navy in December, 2018 at Gurugram, was also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.
  • The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring the safety of Indian maritime trade and merchant vessels operating in the region and contributing towards maintaining a stable and peaceful Indian Ocean Region,” the Navy said.
  • It is to be noted that nearly 75% of the world’s maritime trade and 50% of global oil trade is conducted through the Indian ocean region.

Why are There New Tensions?

  • In 2015, Iran agreed to a landmark deal with world powers to curb its nuclear development.
  • It agreed to limit the enrichment of uranium, which is used to make reactor fuel but also nuclear weapons, and other measures in return for relief from sanctions.
  • Mr. Trump abandoned the nuclear accord last year and started to re-impose sanctions.

How do Global Powers see the Situation?

  • China urged the US to lower the pressure and for Iran to stick to the nuclear deal, warning of a “Pandora’s box” in the region.
  • Russia – another party to the nuclear accord – also called for restraint, calling US actions “truly provocative”.
  • Saudi Arabia also blames Iran for the attacks on the two oil tankers, while the UK said it was “almost certain” Iran was behind the blasts.
  • But EU Foreign Ministers meeting on Monday warned against jumping to conclusions and backed UN calls for an independent investigation.
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