The Arab and Western world was put on high alert when Tehran seized a British vessel two weeks ago following the detention of an Iranian oil tanker.
It led to increased fears that Iran could shut down the Strait of Hormuz – as it did in the 1984 Tanker War – by attacking oil-carrying ships.
A fifth of the world’s oil flows through the Strait, highlighting its economic and strategic importance – but it is not the only action Iran can take to hurt its enemies.
Saudi Arabia has just announced plans to expand the capacity of its east-west pipeline by 40 percent by 2021 in order to avoid its reliance on the Strait.
In addition to this, the US and Britain have both called for joint international cooperation to protect the ships that sail through the channel.
Today South Korea reportedly sent one of its most efficient units – including a 4,500-ton destroyer – to the Persian Gulf.
However, analysts suggest that this will not necessarily keep Saudi oil safe – Iran could fight the battle on two fronts with their Houthi rebel allies.
The Kingdom has been fighting the Houthis in Yemen since 2015, who are now starting to take aim at key energy targets in Saudi Arabia.