Concern for disruption to shipping in conjunction with future Iranian naval excercises
The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) has issued the following advisory:
Reports from maritime forces and commercial maritime interests indicate concern with the potential for localized disruption to shipping in conjunction with future Iranian naval exercises.
During previous exercises Iranian maritime forces conducted boardings and inspections of merchant ships, including those flagged to European nations. The possibility exists that Iran will attempt to conduct boardings and inspections during exercises between December 2011 and March 2012. The most likely location for this activity would be in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz, particularly in areas closer to Iranian territorial waters."
If a Marshall Islands flagged vessel is hailed for boarding by the Iranian navy in international waters, the ship's Master should "protest but comply," if circumstances warrant.
Please note that the inspections may take the form of port State control wherefore it is advisable that ship Masters make sure that all documentation is in order, that there be no PCASP on board and any permanently stored firearms and ammunition be properly inventoried and secured.