Ratifying UNCLOS will put U.S. on stronger footing to challenge Iran's excessive claims in Strait of Hormuz
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USTRANSCOM’s military and commercial partners operate across every portion of the globe in defense of our national interests. Before we send them into harm’s way, it is important for our sailors and airmen to know they have the backing and authority of U.S. accession to the Convention on the Law of the Sea rather than depending on customary international law which some nations attempt to ignore or challenge. This is especially true for strategic chokepoints such as the Bab Al Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Hormuz. Iran’s recent challenge to freedom of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz for a military exercise is an example of threats to international law and our ability to move critical supplies through that region. Acceding to the Convention would provide U.S. forces and commercial partners the strongest legal footing for countering an Iranian anti-access attempt to close the strait to international shipping.
Iran has frequently threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for adverse sanctions or military action. Ratifying UNCLOS would nullify Iran’s challenges should it ever choose to close the strait to U.S. or other flagged ships. Moreover, ratifying LOSC will provide the U.S. Navy the strongest legal footing for countering an Iranian anti-access campaign in the Persian Gulf.