The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Today, Iran's navy fired upon a Singapore-flagged tanker in the Straits of Hormuz, and attempted to force it into Iranian waters.
I predicted as much last week, when the U.S. stood by as Iran seized a Marshall Islands' vessel and held it for ransom:
The Islamic Republic has no legal authority to seize the ship. Releasing it on payment of money is not piracy, because that can only committed by non-state actors, but it is definitely a shake-down, and an assertion of general sovereign rights over international shipping lanes. It is likely not the last such ransom Iran will demand.
Though I must admit, Tehran is working on more accelerated timetable than I had expected.