Transparent manoeuvre

The West is cringing about Iran’s action against a British tanker – and is taking far worse for itself.

by Rubicon’s World Editorial Office

The application of double standards has already become so normal that we simply accept this strategy, says Peter König in his contribution to the conflict that is currently escalating in the Middle East. How else could the West simply accept the act of pure piracy in the unlawful boarding of an Iranian tanker while screaming teter and murder in the lawful boarding of a British tanker by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards?The British-flagged tanker “Stena Impero” to Saudi Arabia was upset by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on Friday 19 July 2019 in the Strait of Hormus after ignoring the cry for help from an Iranian fishing boat and ramming it.

Open provocation?

The tanker was taken to an Iranian port because it did not “comply with international shipping law,” the Iranian Revolutionary Guards said. More importantly, the ship did not respond to several warnings from helicopters and Iranian boats because it had apparently disabled its transponder. One has to wonder how this could happen under the guidance of professional seamen – unless it was an open provocation.

The safety of shipping in the Strait of Hormus is extremely important – 20 to 30 per cent of the world’s maritime oil is shipped through this bottleneck into international waters before it reaches the Gulf of Oman. The strait is closely monitored by Iran, as it is extremely important to it in terms of safety. Blocking this passage as a result of conflict could bring the world economy to a standstill.

It is about the nuclear agreement

Are those who carry out these provocations – here Great Britain as Washington’s puppet – aware of what is at stake? Do they want to bring the Middle East to the brink of war? A regional war that could easily become a world war? In the long term this may well be intentional. In the short term, on the other hand, it looks as if they want to heat up the escalation to such an extent that the US satellite Europe no longer insists on adhering to its part of the nuclear treaty (JCPOA), and on the other hand put Iran under so much pressure that it finally enters into bilateral negotiations with the US on its nuclear programme. The first objective would be achievable, the second in no way. Iran does not fall for such deception – especially not for a country that unilaterally cancels an agreement that had been negotiated for almost two years (since November 2013) before signing the five plus one, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, Great Britain and the USA with Germany and the EU – plus, of course, Iran on 14 July 2015 in Vienna, Austria.

Not only did President Trump, led by his buddy, Israel’s Netanyahu, unilaterally rip the deal apart – in addition to all the Western lies and slander propaganda, he also relaunched one of the toughest economic sanctions programmes against Iran. It is madness to believe that under these circumstances Iran would sit at a negotiating table with its executioner. That will not happen. However, tensions continue to intensify, in line with the wishes of war criminal John Bolton since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, in the planning of which he was instrumental. This is like the purpose of this sick man’s life: mass murder through war and conflict are in his genes. The world can only hope that Trump or those who are pulling the strings behind him will finally release Bolton.

Iran has already announced that it is launching a comprehensive investigation into the British tanker “Stena Impero” into the course deviation and ramming of a fishing boat – and invited Britain to join the investigation.

An act of piracy Let us come back to 4 July, when the British Marines brought the Iranian tanker “Grace I” into Spanish waters off Gibraltar under the pretext that the supertanker was transporting oil for Syria, which contradicted EU sanctions. Iran’s Foreign Minister Dschwad Sarif denied that the oil was destined for Syria, but did not comment further. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell announced that Washington had informed Spain of the imminent fixing of the Iranian tanker by Britain in Spanish waters. Spain could have said no, but it did not. Why not? For fear of sanctions? The United Kingdom, against its own interests, made itself the US henchman, as it was – along with Germany and France – one of the three countries that at least appeared to want to honour their part of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Not out of love for Iran, of course, but out of pure business interest. Iran should be aware of this: The EU can fall behind it at any time, through the very countries that are trying – or pretending to try – to circumvent US sanctions.

What happened on 4 July was an act of pure piracy – no less. A crime on the high seas which the West simply tolerates. The ship is still in British hands, the crew has been released in the meantime. Apart from the fact that Iran’s arrest of the British oil tanker may look like a “Like you to me, if I please you”, Iran acted perfectly legitimately as its Revolutionary Guards watched the Strait of Hormus to ensure the safety of other ship passages through the Strait.

Fire and anger – once again In one of his typical crazy outbursts on Friday 19 July, President Trump warned in a televised “Fire and Rage” speech in the White House: “We have the best ships – the deadliest ships and we don’t want to have to use them. We hope for Iran’s sake that it does not do anything unwise. If it does, it will pay a price that no one has ever paid.” Why doesn’t Trump warn the British in the same tone about their piracy of an Iranian ship in Spanish waters? Well, we know that’s the crazy, unsymmetrical, out of kilter world we live in. It is so normal that people in the West see this inequality and injustice, this duplicity and hypocrisy as their gospel.

Another step towards world domination?

But it all points to the fact that the U.S. – while building a war scenario – is seeking justification for what it has already proclaimed: an alliance of the willing that sends warships into the Strait of Hormus to ensure a safe passage for “everyone. Well, Iran will certainly not join in. But it is important to know what is behind this idea. Imagine if the US navy and its allied puppets had the violence of the sea passage that almost a third of the world’s ocean-going oil tankers pass through daily – Washington would then have another sanctioning tool to harass countries that, in Washington’s view, do not bow sufficiently to Washington’s dictates. Their oil supplies would be held back to bring down their economies – this could be the most effective weapon yet. Beware, world! Even those who now enjoy the benevolence of the self-proclaimed hegemon – you never know when the pendulum will swing in the other direction – for no reason: perhaps because the Israel-led U.S. is on a whimsical aggression course against an imaginary enemy or because corporate interests are shifting. Ultimately, no one would be safe. The world economy could collapse like a house of cards. 2008 would be a walk against it!

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