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Tanker War In Persian Gulf And US-Iranian Conflict

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Tanker War In Persian Gulf And US-Iranian Conflict

The Persian Gulf region has turned into a new hot point in the Middle East.

On May 12, a supposed sabotage attack targeted very large crude carrier Amjad and crude tanker Al Marzoqah (both owned by Saudi shipping firm Bahri).  The UAE-flagged fuel bunker barge A Michel and Norwegian-registered oil products tanker MT Andrea Victory were also targeted, all off of UAE’s Fujairah. The attack did not cause any casualties or an oil spill.

Jaber Al Lamki, an executive director at the UAE’s National Media Council, claimed that the attack was “aimed at undermining global oil supplies and maritime security.” Mainstream media outlets came out with various speculations regarding the incident providing contradictory claims from ‘anonymous sources’. Most of these speculations were focused on supposed Iranian involvement in the situation.

The US de-facto blamed Iran for the situation with National Security Adviser John Bolton claiming that the attacks were the work of “naval mines almost certainly from Iran.” Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, issued a statement saying that “the leadership of Iran at the highest level” ordered a spate of disruptive attacks in the region.

In its own turn, Iran stated that it played no part in the attacks and said that it was a false flag fabricated by the US. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stressed that Iran “had previously predicted that such actions would occur to create tensions in the region.”

On June 12, a fire broke out on an Iranian oil platform of the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf. The fire was subsequently contained and no fatalities were reported. State TV said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

On June 13, another suspicious incident took place in the Gulf of Oman. Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair and Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous oil tankers were rocked by explosions. This development also appeared to be surrounded by multiple speculations immediately after first reports about the situation. Initial versions varied from a torpedo attack to naval mines with the aforementioned tendency regarding supposed Iranian involvement. Nonetheless, once again, no casualties were reported in the supposed attack.

On June 14, Washington claimed that it had evidence confirming Iranian involvement in the June 13 incident. According to a statement by US Central Command, Iranian forces were spotted removing “a probable unexploded limpet mine” from Kokuka Courageous. Central Command also released photos supposed to confirm the claim regarding the non-exploded mine.

Iran denied involvement in the incident labeling it a provocation. The US version of the story was met with serious skepticism among more or less independent media outlets, and even by the owner and operator of the Kokuka Courageous and some European allies of the US.

Yutaka Katada, the president of Kokuka Sangyo, called reports of a mine attack “false”.

“A mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level,” he said “We aren’t sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship.”

He added that sailors on board the ship saw “flying objects” just before Kokuka Courageous was hit. This is further evidence suggesting the vessel wasn’t damaged by mines, but by objects that could have been fired from a distance.

On June 16, Central Command claimed that Iranian forces attempted to shoot down an MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Gulf of Oman hours before the attack on the tankers.

Such reporting is a logical continuation of earlier hysteria over supposed Iranian preparations to attack US forces and infrastructure in the Middle East. The “Iran is readying for an attack” propaganda campaign was used by the US to justify its ongoing military buildup in the region.

Taking into account the military and political situation established in the region, and the obvious loopholes in Washington’s version of the June 13 ‘attack’, it’s quite possible it was a pre-planned provocation. The main party standing to benefit from such a development is the US.

  • Rising tensions in the Persian Gulf region allow the Trump administration to continue exploiting the “Iranian threat” to justify its internal and foreign policies. Inside the US, it allows Washington to increase military-industrial complex spending even further. In terms of foreign policy, it gives the US an additional justification to continue its hard-core anti-Iranian and pro-Israeli policy as well as to boost its military and diplomatic presence in the Middle East.
  • The geo-economic goal of this provocation is to create tensions in the Persian Gulf region and near it (the western part of the Indian Ocean). The growing threat to maritime security would increase logistical costs for key oil consumers. DHT Holdings and Heidmar, two of the biggest oil tankers operators in the world, have suspended new bookings to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The oil price rose. Insurance rates for logistical operations in the region are also expected to increase. This situation directly impacts China, one of the key oil consumers, as well as European states with large industrial potential, such as Germany. The pressure on possible economic competitors through economic tariffs and sanctions, military and diplomatic means are the consistent policy of the Trump administration.

The recent escalation of the conflict in Yemen also plays a role in the current tensions. Over the past months, Ansar Allah (the Houthis) have drastically increased the number of missile and drone attacks on key infrastructure objects in Saudi Arabia, which still continues its military invasion of Yemen.

At the same time, the Iranian leadership uses the threat of an aggressive and artful enemy (the US-Israeli alliance) to justify its policies and boost influence on Shia armed groups and movements across the Greater Middle East.

Ansar Allah, supported by Iran, will likely continue these strident attacks on Saudi Arabia.  In the event of further escalation of the regional situation, it is conceivable that groups allied with Tehran could attack US forces or infrastructure objects. Despite this, the chances of a new open hot war in the region remains low.

Strategically, Iran will focus on developing asymmetric means and measures, including tactical missile forces and its mosquito-craft fleet. Any chosen asymmetric responses will be in line with Iran’s economic capabilities and designed to cause maximum damage in the event of military confrontation.

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  • FrontLine

    Why the US rushed to propagate the ‘naval mine’ scenario to explain recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman
    http://bit.ly/2FfPfVN

    • Rob

      America has damaged those oil tankers to clear ground for attack on Iran. Can America now fix those tankers? No America only knows how to damage it.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Because the US assets in control think the rest of the world is more gullible than they are.

      Children are rather like that.

  • verner

    the iraq iran war in the 80s ended when the french sold exorcet missiles to iran which could be used to take out laden vlcc’s on their way out of the persian gulf and that was ot acceptable to the ever wevil disintegrating states of A so the war came to an end. 1 million iranians died for the americans need to avenge the ousting of shah reza. and a similar number of iraqis. doubt that the disintegrating states of A can do anything honourable.no no no but they do come across as double asses with an IQ similar to an european shoe size.

  • Hasbara Hunter

    Bring it on Divided States of Murica….it will mean the Total Destruction of your Empire… Start the Fire! Loudmouthed Chickenshit Cowards in their Final Death Throes….

    • FlorianGeyer

      Yes, its high time the US put her missiles where her mouth is :)
      To then be fucked by her own petard.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    https://www.voltairenet.org/article206735.html

    Iran paralysed

    by Thierry Meyssan

    The rise of tension in the Gulf is a dangerous game which could turn bloody at any moment. The unclaimed sabotage of the tankers could have been perpetrated by almost any of the parties, including the United States, who are well-versed in the use of false-flag operations. However, rational analysis shows that Teheran today is not at all in this state of mind.

    VOLTAIRE NETWORK | DAMASCUS (SYRIA) | 18 JUNE 2019

    ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΆ DEUTSCH ESPAÑOL FRANÇAIS ITALIANO РУССКИЙ TÜRKÇE PORTUGUÊS

    The United States and the United Kingdom accuse Iran of the sabotage of six petrol tankers in the Gulf, without presenting the slightest proof except an indecipherable US video. According to the accusers, the video shows a craft of the Guardians of the Revolution recuperating an unexploded limpet-mine from the hull of one of the tankers, although the sailors themselves assured that their ship had been hit by a drone or a missile.

    The Irano-US duel has changed its nature since the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House, in January 2017, but the Iranian reaction can only be understood in the context of the previous episodes and their reversals.

    President George Bush did everything in his power to launch a war against Iran following that against Iraq. He intended to continue the systematic destruction of the State structures in the « Greater Middle East », as planned by the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. However, the Baker-Hamilton Commission (2006) prevented this first attempt. The US ruling class judged the return on its investments too slow for them to support an « Endless War ». A second attempt was foiled in 2007–2008 by the opposition of CentCom Commander, Admiral William Fallon, who had begun discussions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad concerning the stabilisation of Iraq. Finally,vice-President Dick Cheney gave instructions to Israël to rent Georgian airports so that they could bomb Iran directly without having to refuel their planes in the air. But it was Russia that grounded the Israëli bombers in the first hours of the war in South Ossetia (August 2008).

    On his arrival at the White House, Barack Obama attempted to continue the same strategy, but in a less brutal manner. Like Bush and Cheney, he was persuaded that action had to be taken rapidly to get hold of Iranian oil, since the resource was soon to become scarce on the world economy (the « peak oil » theory). Rather than launching a new war which the US public would not support, he increased the number of demonstrations intended to overthrow his Iranian counter-part (2009). Noting the failure of this « colour revolution » faced with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he began discussions with Washington’s usual partners since the Khomeini Revolution, in other words the clan of Hachemi Rafsandjani (March 2013), and more particularly Cheikh Hassan Rohani, who had been the primary contact during the Iran-Contras affair. When Rohani was elected(2013), he immediately began State-to-State negotiations to share the Middle East between the Saudis and the Iranians, under cover of the struggle against nuclear proliferation. A treaty was negotiated in Switzerland in the presence of the great powers, but it was not signed until 2015. Iran regained the right to export its oil in order to kick-start its economy.

    Progressively, the relations between the two states normalised until Donald Trump became the US President (2017). His objective was completely different – the White House no longer believed that the US were about to run out of oil, but was persuaded, on the contrary, that there was too much of it on the market – the White House no longer pursued the imperial policy of its predecessors, but occupied itself solely with making money. Instead of organising US domination of the Middle East, it decided to limit its supply on the market in order to be able to maintain the price of crude oil at the level of US shale oil. The United States encouraged demonstrations against the politico-religious class (2017-18), then canceled the agreement on nuclear energy (2018).

    Since that time, Iran seems paralysed. Unlike politicians, the religious leaders are rigid and are unable to question themselves. God, whom they represent on earth, can not contradict Himself. This is why, contrary to a widely-held idea, the Iranian theocracy is excellent at business, but weak at diplomacy.

    Iran refuses all offers of negotiation with the United States, and is waiting desperately for the Democrats to regain power in Washington – a dangerous gamble insofar as Donald Trump may be re-elected for 4 more years, and the Iranian economy is currently on the brink of collapse.

    This paralysis prevents Iran from planning the sort of provocation of which Washington and London are accusing it, particularly since attacks against Western interests would compromise their future relations with US Democrats.

    Unexpectedly, the Trump method will not prevail in this case. Persian culture is one of miniatures. In particular, the Iranians are a people who are capable of enduring long periods of torment before they win.

    Thierry Meyssan

  • Hisham Saber

    There will be no U.S./ Israeli war on Iran and its allies.

    Even an idiot politician or military commander knows its not a wise move to start a far-away regional war, with a socially, economically self sustained , and militarily ready country the size of Iran , including the whole Shia Crescent, about 190 million people, when you are in the midst of an economic depression, as the U.S. currents is in.

    The Iranians are ready, and have been readying themselves since 1979 for such a showdown.

    The U.S. is in no position to launch such a war and come out as it is today. In fact, once set, the ensuing calamity and catastrophe would result in the total collapse of the monetary Ponzi Scheme that the western economies are, especially the U.S., through the world’s reliance on the Petro-dollar backed up by diplomatic, economic and the ever-so-present military power.

    For the Chinese, Iran is an integral, almost sacred ally with strong bonds economically, culturally, and militarily that China will ensure that Iran is equipped with whatever it needs to sustain itself economically, and also militarily. Through the gargantuan Chinese One-Belt, One Road initiative, Iran is China’s gateway into the entire Arab Middle East. China also owns an 80% stake in Irans ultra massive natural gas fields in South Pars.

    After the Gulf Monarchies fall one after another, when they are put out of business by way of Iranian ballistic missiles that given their sheer numbers and accuracy( thanks to the Chinese and North Korea, these capabilities go to Hezbollah too) on all their oil, gas and various infrastructure, which will be totally annihilated early on in the event of such an unwise and tragic miscalculation and underestimation of Iran and her allies would prove fatal for all U.S. allies in the entire Middle East.

    The U,S. is neither socially, economically, culturally nor militarily ready to take on Iran and her allies. It would result of the beginning of the end of the U.S. and entire world order as we know it. The U.S. would descend into a third world country, divided and broken.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Much of the US is akin to that of a 3rd world economy today really :)

  • Jay Lindberg

    Honest analysis of oil tanker attacks and US Superpower logic.

    Oil tanker crews identified missiles as the source of the tanker attacks. Tanker damage is above the water line. The US claims the tankers were struck with Iranian mines. US claims are based on anonymous sources and Israel isn’t commenting on the attacks, Who should we believe?

    Conclusion 1. The logical sources of these attacks are US drones with specifically designed warheads that inflict limited damage to the oil vessels. Conventional aircraft or ship based missile launches would be too easy to trace. Conventional warheads would have sunken the oil vessels.

    Conclusion 2. The fact that these missile strikes were not picked up on any military radar in the region strongly implies US culpability.

    Conclusion 3. Of course the US, and Israel will blame Iran for the attacks. After all, if Iran was an obedient Zionist/American puppet, these false flag events would not have been necessary.

    • gustavo

      If anybody does not know who to believe to after “WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION”, really there is nothing to discuss with this people.

  • Jonathan Cohen

    I noticed that both tankers in the last attack were hit on the starboard side. Were they outbound? or inbound? If outbound, the starboard side would face Oman; if inbound, it would face Iran. Judging by the waterline, one ship appeared full, implying it was outbound, and the other looked half full, implying what? Anyone here know much about tankers?

  • JustPassingThrough

    try this for further insights:
    Declassified: The Sino-Russian Masterplan To End U.S. Dominance In Middle East

    https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Declassified-The-Sino-Russian-Masterplan-To-End-US-Dominance-In-The-Middle-Ea.html

  • Cretins Bezoar

    That boat was either dropping someone off or picking someone up…that’s how they do it at sea. The video was shot just after the Jacobs ladder was hauled back aboard…where’s the mine? Notice the gap in the railing at top of ship? That’s where they roll the Jacobs ladder down..

  • Toronto Tonto

    The shrapnel is Iranian just so you know who built the explosive devise .

    • Ronald

      You have some do you, were you aboard tonto.

      • igybundy

        He personally bought it in iran and carried it on board the ships so he should know.