This past week, we have been deluged with news of a tanker carrying Iranian oil, being ‘captured’ while navigating the straits of Gibraltar by British authorities. Strangely this ‘capture’ coincided with the release of internal memos at the British Foreign Office of communications from the Ambassador to the U.S. (Kim Darroch)!
The release of the memos was a major embarrassment for the British government. It revealed Britain’s real ‘views’ on the Trump administration – accusing the Whitehouse of being ‘self-interested and inept’!
Clearly Britain had to move quickly to diffuse the situation and change news headlines. And what did they do? They captured a Tanker (Grace 1) carrying Iranian oil in the Mediterranean!!! The Brits claim this was done upon a request from Washington.
At first, they claimed this was because the ship was carrying oil to Syria (which is under EC sanctions). But it is now clear that there was no port in Syria that could moor the tanker. The rumor on the internet is that this tanker was heading to either Russia or Turkey. But also, more importantly, the sanctions argument doesn’t have any legal standing, since Iran is not a member of the EU – neither by the way are Iran’s customers for the oil.
The Brits had declared that they took this action to ‘pirate’ this Iranian oil tanker because John Bolton from Trump’s administration asked them to! They were merely following U.S. orders. Obviously, this was an underhanded way for the Brits to signal to the Trump administration that no matter what ‘anyone says’ we are your true ally! And it also portended to demonstrate to the U.S. that they have ‘no love’ for the regime in Tehran.
Interestingly, this vessel had been under surveillance during its voyage around the African continent, and had been deregistered by Panama, in mid-voyage. Given the level of corruption of Panama by US and American influence in Panama’s governance, it is clear who ordered the de-registration. The implications of this action are potentially disastrous – Panama as a flag of convenience is now no longer trustworthy, as a ship-owner you may want to think twice before registering there. More on this later (read on).
Earlier this week, ‘the Gibraltar Chronicle’ reported that that their Chief Minister was in London to discuss things with the British PM and to also meet with a delegation from Iran. He said, “the meeting was constructive and positive”. But then on Thursday, the same Chief Minister said they will keep the ship for another month of legal review.
So yesterday, after passing on several opportunities, the Iranians finally came through with their prior threats and seized a British flagged ship traveling through the straits of Hormuz. The British tanker ‘Stena Impero’ was on its way from Fujairah, UAE to Jubail in Saudi Arabia. Just when the ship had passed through the Straits of Hormuz from east to west, it was approached by IRGC fast boats and an Iranian helicopter that dropped IRGC commandos onboard. It then slowed down, made a sharp 180 degree turn and sailed north. It is now in Iranian waters. Iranian authorities have issued a statement today, saying that the Ship will be impounded while there is a legal review of its navigational activity.
Iran insists the seizure was prompted by the Stena Impero’s failure to respond to a distress call from an Iranian fishing boat. The IRGC also claimed that a British frigate tried to prevent them from seizing the Stena Impero. Its spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said despite the “resistance and interference” of the warship, the Iranian forces succeeded in bringing the tanker to the country’s shores.
I captured a screenshot from the video released of the ‘commando’ raid as shown on RT news. We see the masked IRGC commando giving a “thumbs up” to his ‘fellow’ Iranians. They’re awfully pink looking Iranians. From my viewpoint, these are clearly Russian commandos. It would suggest that the Iranian tanker captured by the Brits, must have been heading to Russia. And that Russia has decided to enter this pissing match on Iran’s side. Stated another way, Russia has aligned itself with Iran militarily!!
Call it, tit for tat!
The Brits now have a perfect excuse to suck in the U.S. into a regional war – not just with Iran, but also Russia. Perhaps that is what they have wanted for a long time. And it could even be the underlying pretext for their BREXIT plans, because it seems other European nations are not on board with World War III!
The internet is abuzz. Pundits are posting and waiting for a NATO (US and British led) invasion of Iran’s Qeshm island. We know, US/NATO has been conducting intel/recon flights close to the Iranian border for the past 3 days and has plans in place for a full-scale invasion of Iran’s Qeshm Island, and take over the Airbase on the Island, and if necessary, seize two more, nearby Iranian airbases Havadarya and Lar – if ordered to proceed! This would lead to a western foothold of the straits of Hormuz and eliminate any threats from Iran to shut down the straits or threaten navigation in the Persian Gulf
NATO has already been doing a lot of planning for this, and has sent out intelligence units from New Zealand and Australia – under the guise of tourists – to the area to provide detailed, on the ground, intelligence and videos (and even had some of them posted on youtube, to sell the ‘tourist’ cover)!
In my opinion this would be a truly disastrous move. If nothing else, the mere presence of Russian commando’s in Iran’s ‘response’ to Britain’s piracy, should give everyone some degree of pause.
Let’s see what happens now. (Trump did not visit the UK and have dinner with the Queen for nothing!) US actions in Iran will be coordinated with the Brits for sure.
All this cap off almost a century of interference in Iran – in one shape or another by the Brits but later by the U.S. (in coordination with the Brits). The ‘Brits’ have pushed the US into the theater to do their dirty work – from the creation of the Israel-Palestinian conflict (initiated by Britain), to the invasion of Iraq (based on false, British provided intelligence [remember the fake Aluminum tubes from Niger reported by British intelligence])?
If the Trump administration had any real competence, they would read the Brits for what they really are: Two faced allies. British policy vis a vis Iran, is not designed for the benefit of the U.S., it is designed for its own benefit. The way they think, both US and Iran might be damned, but the Brits will come out ahead. The U.S. needs to be very careful.
Listen carefully to the Mullahs and their representatives and MORE IMPORTANTLY their actions, and you will see a consistent thread of outcomes that have been 100% consistent with British political and economic policies:
- Iran has abandoned its sovereignty of the
Caspian Sea and sections of the Persian Gulf, to the Benefit of British oil
companies and British backed dictatorships like Aliev in Azerbaijan and the
Emir in Qatar. With North Sea oil production reduced significantly, Caspian and
Persian Gulf production has essentially replaced the North Sea.
- Iranian backed Shiites in Southern Iraq – whereby the way there has been relative peace – have protected British interests in Iraq, and again, provided British oil companies with contracts for extraction of Iraq’s largest oil fields in Southern Iraq.
- Sanctioning Iran, in the way it has been done, has led to a Boom in Dubai and other British protectorates – where sanction busting has led to massive gains for British banks and trading companies over the past 20 years.
- Sanctions have also kept Iranian oil and major companies such as airlines out of the global market – much to the gain of Britain (and its allies). In fact, interestingly, if Iran was ‘open’ – Tehran NOT Dubai would be regional air hub, because of over 1000 kilometers shorter traveling distance to Tehran versus Dubai. I wonder where Airbus or Rolls Royce would be without major orders from these Arab airlines?
Bottom line look at all the outcomes. They have been favorable to Britain
The Brits have steadily manipulated US policy in the region -especially with Iran for a long time! Iranians have suffered tremendously under the thumb of British foreign policies.
Yes, the Brits did follow John Bolton’s orders, but by doing so, they are cleverly sucking in the U.S. into a conflict that is not in the interests of America – ONLY in their interests. Both the Trump administration and Britain’s tory government have nefarious plans. None of this is good.
Despite claims of trying to make America great again, I see the Trump administration as fundamentally dominated by foreign interests. None of this is good for America…. Or Iran for that matter. What the hell are they doing? What is the end point? How can any of this be good for America?
When Britain hit a snag, they picked on Iran to change the subject and reset its tactical influence in Washington. They are very shrewd. They appear to be following Washington’s orders, while at the same time undermining Washington.
Hopefully, no one will take the bait, and the situation will be diffused. Britain should never have ‘pirated’ the ship carrying Iranian oil in the Mediterranean; and started this pissing match. Britain had no legal standing to do so, and it should have responded to John Bolton accordingly. A good ally would have pushed back and counseled Washington. That would have been the end of it. Thus, the only conclusion anyone can come up with is, if Britain does something, it is purely to promote their self-interests (not America’s or Iran’s).
The piracy was a badly thought out concept. The Brits supported it and now it has the potential to escalate.
America beware. Yes, you have dumb asses in the White House, but you have bad allies too! (Don’t get me started on Saudi Arabia … and Khashoggi’s Murder… please!) And remember what you tell your children, you are the company you keep!! Its bad, all around.