Fifty years ago, Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran, thus denying Israel access to the Red Sea and precipitating the Six-Day War. Today, the Red Sea remains vital to international shipping and still holds the potential to spark conflict. That conflict, explains Dore Gold, could arise from a variety of recent developments: tensions are increasing between Egypt and Ethiopia; Iran has built up a presence in the waterway with help from the Houthis in Yemen; Turkey and China are both establishing their own footholds along the Horn of Africa. (Video, 8 minutes. Text is available at the link below.)
The Red Sea: Next Flashpoint in the Middle East?
By Arresting Foreigners and Detaining Ships, Iran Reverts to Its Favorite Method of Diplomacy
On Friday, Iranian naval vessels seized an oil tanker flying the British flag, along with its crew. Taking foreigners hostage has long been a preferred tactic of the Islamic Republic, as Bobby Ghosh writes:
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