NMA maintains ISPS-level 2 for the Strait of Hormuz and adjacent Iranian TTW west of the Strait.

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Mitigation Measures

  • Utilize BMP5 in preparations and operations.
  • Conduct security assessments before entering. Current transit advice is provided by UKMTO. Threat assessments for the region are also provided by EUNAVFOR and can be found on the MSCHOA website.
  • Prepare ship and crew, through planning and exercises.
  • Report to UKMTO and MSCHOA in accordance with guidelines
  • Stay vigilant and maintain a high degree of situational awareness, both underway and at port.

Security Situation

In the Arabian Gulf/Persian Gulf (AG/PG), Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman the primary maritime threat remains actions taken by or supported by Iran to threaten merchant ship transits or port and anchorage areas. Enforcement by Iran towards merchant vessels might be linked to specific goals such as preventing smuggling but also to demonstrate naval enforcement capabilities.

Although Iran and Saudi Arabia have restored their diplomatic ties in early March 2023, this has not resulted in a lower number of Iranian actions in the regional maritime domain. Since April 2023, Iran has increased its maritime operations in the area to avenge linked countries that on orders of the US have effectuated US-sanctions against Iran. Iran has seized at least three oil tankers since April 2023: ADVANTAGE SWEET (27 April), NIOVI (3 May) and PURITY (7 May).

In July 2023 Iran attempted to take control over two oil tankers. The Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker TRF MOSS was approached by Iranian naval vessels in international waters in the Gulf of Oman, but the Iranian vessel departed when the US warship USS MCFAUL arrived. Later, the Bahamian-flagged oil tanker RICHMOND VOYAGER was directed by an Iranian naval vessel to stop. As the US warship USS MCFAUL approached the scene, Iranian forces fired on the oil tanker, but no serious damage or loss of life occurred.

Because of the increasing tensions and the number of attacks on merchant vessels, the U.S. Navy has strengthened its maritime presence in the area.

NMA’s overall assessment of the security situation in the region is that there is currently no direct threat against Norwegian-flagged vessels specifically, but it cannot be ruled out that also Norwegian-flagged ships can be targeted.