The Gulf of Credibility 718

I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was holed above the water line. That rules out a torpedo attack, which is the explanation being touted by the neo-cons.

The second vessel, the Front Altair, is Norwegian owned and 50% Russian crewed (the others being Filipinos). It is owned by Frontline, a massive tanker leasing company that also has a specific record of being helpful to Iran in continuing to ship oil despite sanctions.

It was Iran that rescued the crews and helped bring the damaged vessels under control.

That Iran would target a Japanese ship and a friendly Russian crewed ship is a ludicrous allegation. They are however very much the targets that the USA allies in the region – the Saudis, their Gulf Cooperation Council colleagues, and Israel – would target for a false flag. It is worth noting that John Bolton was meeting with United Arab Emirates ministers two weeks ago – both ships had just left the UAE.

The USA and their UK stooges have both immediately leapt in to blame Iran. The media is amplifying this with almost none of the scepticism which is required. I cannot think of a single reason why anybody would believe this particular false flag. It is notable that neither Norway nor Japan has joined in with this ridiculous assertion.


Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

Choose subscription amount from dropdown box:

Recurring Donations


718 thoughts on “The Gulf of Credibility

1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Humbaba

    “I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.”

    The spooks fabricating these incidents seem to believe that the public will swallow every stupidity. Last year, the Iranians were accused of terrorist attacks in Europe at the very time the Iranian foreign minister was in Europe to get European support for the Iran deal.

    • Tony

      The Iran war was knocked into touch by Pentagon briefings of it’s enormity to Trump. This is an ongoing attempt by Bolton and his sponsor Adelson to create this war. Adelson sponsors Netenyahu. Look no further than Israel for this, and the previous tanker attacks. Hopefully, Trump will follow his instinct and put Bolton in the wilderness. But I’m not confident.

      • Doodlebug

        Trump’s conclusion, broadcast on this evening’s news, is as banal as it is absurd. The ‘unexploded limpet mine’ shown as being removed in the recently released video footage “has Iran written all over it” apparently.

        • Tony

          The daftest thing about the fake ‘removing the unexploded limpet mine’ video and meme is that if it really was limpet mines, the ones that did explode would leave a forensic footprint anyway. The ‘mine removers’ would have risked their lives pointlessly.

        • Harry Law

          The ‘unexploded limpet mine’ shown as being removed in the recently released video footage “has Iran written all over it” and Donald Trumps face has liar written all over it.

      • Baalbek

        The Pentagon apparently wants out of the Middle East. The generals and war planners have had enough of asymmetrical warfare and battling ragtag bands of insurgents and guerillas. They will fight there if ordered to do so, but they’d rather not. This may sound like a positive development, but it’s really not.

        The Middle East may be out, but China is very much in. According to Michael Klare, the Pentagon types are very eager to test their mettle against more equally matched “great power” militaries. And that means China and, to a lesser extent, Russia. More info in link below.

        • Godfree Roberts

          I doubt that. In every weight class, from AAM to ICBM, most Chinese missiles outrange their American counterparts by 100% or more, and Chinese detection systems are far superior to anything the US has.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Humbaba June 14, 2019 at 21:52
      And Assad was accused of using CW’s at the same time that the OPCW were in the country, just twelve miles from the new ‘incident’.
      But Joe ‘Muggins’ Public laps it up, ‘cos the papers and the Tele says it’s so.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Paul Barbara;
        Except we have no way of telling what Joe Public makesof it.

    • Baalbek

      The spooks fabricating these incidents seem to believe that the public will swallow every stupidity.

      For the most part they do and keep any doubts they might have to themselves. Propaganda and “weaponized” narratives as a form of social control are very effective at stifling debate. Just mentioning “false flag” can be enough to get one labelled a conspiracy theorist, Russian stooge etc. Holding opinions and views that counter or challenge the dominant narrative is now “extremist” or “radical”. I’m surprised you haven’t noticed these trends.

      In my experience people who consider themselves good liberals are particularly prone to this type of groupthink.

    • Tom Welsh

      “The spooks fabricating these incidents seem to believe that the public will swallow every stupidity”.

      One word: “Skripal”.

      • King of Welsh Noir

        Yup, Osama bin Laden’s funeral must take the biscuit. It allegedly took place on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, at noon local time and lasted 50 minutes.

        According to the official narrative, traditional procedure for Islamic burial was followed, the body was washed and placed in a white sheet. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, and the body slid into the sea.

        And not one of the 6,000 crew saw it.

  • Wikikettle

    The Iranians have been under sanctions for decades. They are as a result more united and self sufficient. They cant rely on Russia and China to protect them from US attacks. As their leader said they don’t want nuclear weapons or have any plans to develop them. But as he also said, if they wanted them, they could, and we could do nothing to stop them. They have done everything asked from them by the UN and the IAEA to no avail. It seems we are determined to destroy Iran as Wesley Clark mentioned about the list drawn up by the Pentagon. The B Team – Bolton Bibi and Bin Salman seem to be getting their way.

  • Doodlebug

    A small matter of logistics: If the tankers were sailing toward the open ocean then the Iranian coastline would have been off to port. Yet both vessels were holed on the starboard side.

    • Tom Welsh

      Ah yes, the treacherously deceptive new Iranian secret weapon: their “boomerang” missiles.

  • Hatuey

    If I remember correctly, there was a condition imposed on Japan after the war that demanded that all oil imported into the country had to be delivered on US vessels. Did that agreement expire? Maybe that is at the root of all this.

    The purpose of that diktat was control, of course, giving the US defect veto power over the Japanese economy and politics.

    I’m sure Craig Murray will know about that. It was always semi-shrouded in secrecy.

    • N_

      I hadn’t heard about the ships, but the US strategy to control the Japanese economy after WW2 was much broader than only in connection with oil, and it failed. They thought they could keep the zaibatsus in their place but were unable to. At one time quite a large proportion of oil shipped from the Gulf went to Japan, something around 25%, but I suppse the percentage is smaller nowadays.

      Have Norwegian interests been up to something that has upset the Israelis again?.

      Perhaps they didn’t get the message sent through Anders Breivik that said “Don’t you dare move towards divesting your sovereign fund’s money from Israel, kiddos, if you know what’s good for you”.

      (Bonus points for thinking of “kidon” when reading “kiddos”.)

    • Wikikettle

      Hatuey. Indeed. USA taking over from the British Empire’s world domination. Sending in the gun boats when the Chinese objected to Heroin being imported into their country. All this pretence about democracy, free press, rule of law and a rules based world order. Also the secrecy about US bases ‘agreements’. Might is indeed right. At least now with the open admissions of Pompy and of the Rand Corp reports on how to ‘administer’ Russia’s downfall, its bare faced now.

  • N_

    It’s not “false flag”. False flag would be if Israel or the US or their agents (or anyone else apart from Iran) carried out these attacks under Iranian colours.

    It’s night and fog, no claim made in the name of anyone.

    “Oil crisis” and three-day week coming?

  • N_

    It is notable that neither Norway nor Japan has joined in with this ridiculous assertion.

    Yes – a very important point. And the western media are hardly mentioning it. They are concentrating on statements made by a third party, the United States.

    To recap: the big bully boy of the world, a known faithful servant of Israel, is claiming that two innocents have been attacked by a wicked power, but anything the two supposed innocents themselves actually say about the incidents counts for almost nothing. So the US government cares about the innocents, does it? Or are they propagandising for something while their actions say “f*ck Norway and f*ck Japan”?

    • Hatuey

      As I understand it, the US declared that 8 countries were exempt from the sanctions regime Trump imposed on Iranian oil exports and Japan was assumed to be one of them. Since the Fukushima meltdown, Japan has switched off all nuclear reactors and is now entirely dependent on oil and coal for electricity.

      • Wikikettle

        Hatuey. Those exemptions were only temporary. Those countries face sanctions themselves now. As in the films and as in Bush ” you are with us or against us “.

        • Tom Welsh

          More accurately, “you are under us or against us”.

          For various meanings of “under”.

  • Wikikettle

    Somali Pirates have nothing on Drake and today’s Carrier Groups Jolly Roger.

  • Piotr Berman

    I think that Craig has valid points, but it is hard to tell what the truth is. That said, an hour ago this appeared on the front page of NYT (web edition):

    Title: Distrusting Both Iran and U.S., Europe Urges ‘Maximum Restraint’
    Teaser: Washington’s history of hyping intelligence is weighing on European governments suspicious of Mr. Trump’s hawkish Iran policies.

  • douglas clark

    I agree. This looks like a false flag operation.

    Have they only a limited playbook to, err, play from?

    USS Maddox incident.

    This is frankly ludicrous and occurrs as President Trump falls in the re-electability 2020 stakes.

    British readers will recall how Margaret Thatchers re-electability was turned around by the Falklands War.

      • douglas clark


        The list you gave me:

        “Maine, Lusitania, Liberty, Cole?”

        What am I supposed to make of it?

        That they are all conspiracy theories that have turned out to be actual conspiracies?

        I am guessing..

        That they are all conspiracy theories that have been debunked?

        You need to be a bit clearer, and, no I am not usually a conspiracist, at least on a large scale. Y’know, Moon landings and stuff like that. It probably happened, with extremely high confidence limits.

        Please explain.

        • Wikikettle

          douglas clark. Watch on youtube ‘ Survivor of Israeli Attack on USS Liberty: It could not Have Been a Mistake ‘
          Survivor Sgt. Bryce Lockwood and former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern discuss the attack.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ douglas clark June 15, 2019 at 03:48
          Just showing that the Maddox wasn’t their only ‘precedent’.
          The Maine was almost certainly a False Flag; it was blamed at the time on an external mine placed by the Spaniards, but recent investigations of the damage show it was an internal explosion, claimed to be accidental (but it has all the hallmarks of a False Flag, as it was used to bring about a war with Spain, or rather to steal Spanish colonies.
          Lusitania was not a False Flag, but was deliberately engineered, with the objective of getting Americans stirred up and eager to get ‘revenge’ on the evil Hun (although denied for years, it is now admitted that the passenger liner had carried explosives and ammunition; the German had taken out US adverts in two newspapers (other newspapers refused) warning prospective passengers that the ship was a legitimate target, the British knew that a submarine was operating in the area off Ireland, as it had sunk another ship the day before; also they had the German submarine code broken, so knew where they all were, though the Germans didn’t know they had them broken.
          The Lusitania was ordered to slow down,, and a cruiser that was supposed to come out and escort it didn’t arrive because of some kind of ‘engine trouble’; meanwhile, three British destroyers sat in port, their crew twiddling their thumbs.
          Not surprisingly, the known sub sunk the Lusitania with just one torpedo, due to the explosives aboard.
          The USS Liberty was a US?Israeli planned ‘False Flag’, where LBJ plotted with the Mossad station chief in Washington that LBJ would send the ship to sail off the Sinai during the planned Six-Day War in 1967, and I^^ael’s job was to sink it and leave no survivors. It was going to be blamed on Egypt, and the US was going to nuke Egypt in ‘retaliation'(see Peter Hounam, ‘Operation Cyanide’)..
          The Cole may have been a genuine attack by Muslims, but I suspect it too was an ‘arranged’ attack (like the Achille Lauro).The Cole is the weakest link I mentioned, based just on suspicion.

          • douglas clark


            Thanks for that. My knowledge of conspiracies has been greatly increased.

          • Trowbridge H Ford

            Thanks Paul, the sinking of La Coubra in Havana harbor in 1960 while unloading its Czech arms was also a false flag operation to kill the leadership of the Cuban Revolution with two controlled mines – what Ike was calling upon the CiIA to do.

            Fortunately, it didn’t succeed.

          • Tom Welsh

            Quite a number of battleships were destroyed by spontaneous internal explosions. In the early coal-fired days these could easily be caused by the omnipresent coal dust in the air everywhere after re-coaling. Just one spark could trigger an explosion. Later, with oil-fuelled ships, there would be various petroleum vapours. And once the first explosion took place, the main magazines might go up with really devastating effect.

            As well as the “Maine”, the Japanese battleship “Mutsu” blew up spontaneously while at anchor – at the time she was arguably the most powerful battleship in the world. During WW1 the British Royal Navy lost two battleships (Bulwark and Vanguard) to magazine explosions while in port, and in 1955 the Russian battleship Novorossiysk blew up while anchored in Sevastopol Bay.

    • Goose

      Only because it was seen as successful, how would they define success here?

      They (the US) pulled out of the JCPOA and yet are still talking about Iran’s alleged non-compliance as if they’re still in it.

      What could they actually bomb in Iran:mothballed nuclear infrastructure(with the IAEA inspection seals and tags still in place), power plants, wastewater treatment and other essential infrastructure? That’s just going to make the world very, very angry, The US say their beef is with the Mullahs and not the people remember. I doubt anyone has thought this properly through, to the US war and killing seems to be just a game.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Have they only a limited playbook to, err, play from?”

      Undoubtedly. But they will go on using it until:

      1. At least 50% of US voters see through the deceptions;

      2. At least 50% of US voters act accordingly, and get rid of the liars.

      That would be… about never.

  • Kerchée Kerch'ee Coup

    @Paul Barbara at 00.55
    Would that be the editor, Steed, who called for war in his editorials in the run-up to August 1914 but was later locked up in a mental asylum on the evidence of a single doctor in Switzerland following his support for the verisimilitude of certain protocols?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Kerchée Kerch’ee Coup June 15, 2019 at 05:57
      Stead (not Steed) was part of the ‘Secret Elite’ group, he co-founded it with Cecil Rhodes. He was a campaigning journalist I don’t know if he ever made editor of the Times). He fell out with the Secret Elite over the Boer War.
      I’m surprised he was incarcerated. Natt Rothschild was one of the ‘Inner Circle’. I didn’t know about his incarceration.

      • Kerchée Kerch'ee Coup

        @Paul Barbara
        Together we have a reasonable memory and a two-horse race.William Stead is your man of” United States of Europe’and opposition to the Second Boer War, who died on the Titanic..I was thinking of Wickham Stead who edited The Times in the decade spanning the First World War and was later committed to a mental asylum on under suspicious circumstances.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Kerchée Kerch’ee Coup June 15, 2019 at 07:45
          Thanks for the clarification. My memory for this sort of stuff is actually very limited, but I am in the middle of re-reading Gerry Docherty’s and Jim Macgregor’s ‘Hidden History – The Secret originns of the First World War’, with their sister book ‘Prolonging the Agony’ a treasure trove of new (to me) info.
          Just as an aside, I very much doubt William Stead died on the Titanic, as I don’t believe it sunk.
          I believe it was the Olympic that sunk (in an insurance switch, and it had been extremely badly damaged previously in a collision with a British cruiser (the Titanic: The Ship that Never Sank?’ by Robin Gardiner. The book convinced me.

          • Trowbridge H Ford

            What about the US Navy having found the remains just the other day of the Titanic while allegedly looking for the USS Scorpion and Thesther which had long since been found? It was having that private diving mission looking instead for the remains of the USS Puffer and Batfish.

            Guys like CNO John Richardson are better liars than heroes.

  • David

    just heard as the first headline on BBC R4 ‘news briefing’ 05:30 show that JC is protesting the UK government subservience to the US’s yet more ‘blatantly made up twaddle’ – I listened to the rest of the early news, but they gave not one scintilla of further enlightenment.

    (Friday’s R4 Toady prog had naturally either James Comey or Clapper to put the simple & honest case for war against sovereign smelly Iran, but I don’t listen to criminals – so I don’t know what either one of them said, or which of the right Jimmies it was)

    looking through Google to substantiate the BBC’s fleeting Corbyn mention, surely it is all happening on Twitter, but zero hits from the UK MSM, just this reference:-

    yes, this badly worded website (federal uk?) claims the news source is BBC, but this source beeb news item does NOT appear (for me) when I search for it, BBC being shy?, Google being ‘gappy’? information war ongoing!

    activeHi reprints the Corbyn tweet of last night, that R4 mentioned for one briefest sentence just now, they didn’t quote any of his actual tweet, spending much more time on dire NHS sarnies…

    Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.

    (loved by) 5,497, 11:07 PM – Jun 14, 2019
    2,854 people are talking about this


    • Paul Barbara

      @ David June 15, 2019 at 05:58
      Very glad to hear Jeremy has spoken out so strongly. Cue ramping up of the ASinine allegations against him.

      • Tom Welsh

        Maybe if Mr Corbyn can join ranks with Tulsi Gabbard and a few others, an “Axis of Truth” might emerge.

    • Andyoldlabour


      Thanks for that, JC has gone up a few notches in my estimation of him. I now await the only too predictable backlash from chickenhawk politicians and the neoliberal MSM.

  • Dave

    The puzzle for me, which I hope someone can answer, is exactly where is the Ministry of Truth/Deep State situated which determines the official line in the MSM. When something is uniformly propagandized, it can bounce Leaders, unless their in on it, which is likely in May’s case but less likely in Trump’s, into doing and saying silly things, and so knowing how the MSM tap is turned on is necessary to turn if off, or say something different.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Dave June 15, 2019 at 06:37
      Trump hardly needs to be ‘bounced’ into doing and saying something stupid – he never does or says anything else. I think he’s trying to outdo George W Bush, a feat in itself. I wonder if he’s read ‘My Pet Goat’?

    • Dom

      Ooh, poor old Trump, he doesn’t know what’s happening … all of this warmongering is the work of rogue administration officials and the media.

      Never mind Trump personally selected the most putrid of the deep state war hawks in Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and has stood by them throughout everything — despite sacking virtually everyone else in his administration for the most minor disloyalties.

      You embarrass yourself trying to exonerate your hero.

      • Trowbridge H Ford

        Poor old Trump? I hope he is sucked into the swamp.

        Just wait until he has the NRO pull off another devastating quake in Iran, as it did before the Gulf Wars in 1990 and 2003.

    • Tom Welsh

      Dave, I hope the following brief exchange between Andrew Marr and Noam Chomsky is somewhat illuminating.

      ‘Marr: “How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are…”

      ‘Chomsky: “I’m not saying you’re self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting”’.

      – Transcript of interview between Noam Chomsky and Andrew Marr (Feb. 14, 1996)

  • Chris Barclay

    Interesting that the media printed a story last weekend about Iranian terrorism in the UK and in Europe. The raids reported were back in 2013. At the time, I wondered why the story had come out then. Now I know.

  • joel

    “I was a CIA director, we lied, we cheated we stole… like, we had entire training courses.” ~ Mike Pompeo

    “The Islamic Republic of Iran was responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.” ~ Mike Pompeo

  • David

    BBC TV Channel One, the flagship HMS Breakfast with Naga and someone male led on the listeria being fed to sick people at 08:01am then mentioned the pure american government line , from Jeremy Richard Streynsham *unt’s point of view , that Iran “almost certainly” has annoyed the USA and that something must be done. A keen beeb rent-a-journo phoned in from the non-terrorist supporting UAE (Director of the Center for Research into the Arabic World at the University of Mainz, Günter Meyer, stated “the most important source of ISIS financing to date has been support coming out of the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia but also Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates”) and repeated the Pompeo cruft.

    there was zero mention on TV of the Corbyn tweet , as that was dealt with presumably for the entire day with that single brief mention at 5:30am, yep looks like we are in for a just and wholly (without foundation) war, to churn the trillion dollar MIC budget?

    • Tom Welsh

      Is “almost certainly” more or less “certain” than “highly likely”?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ David June 15, 2019 at 08:21
      But it still is up on the BBC website:’Jeremy Corbyn challenges UK government’s Iran accusations on oil tanker attacks’:
      And it’s in the Independent: : and the Guardian: ‘Jeremy Corbyn: no ‘credible evidence’ of Iran role in tanker attacks’.
      The Express don’t mention it, but instead provide this: ‘‘Jeremy Corbyn will side with any terrorist group’ – Anti-extremism expert speaks out’:
      So it hasn’t been completely ignored, and can be further spread through newspapers’ comments sections where applicable, and via social media groups.

    • Ingwe

      On the Today program at about 8:30 this morning, John Humphries spoke to an Iranian professor in Tehran who clearly and cooly pointed out, inter alia, that:
      1. The grainy back and white film proved nothing.
      2. Both ships affected reported the damage being caused by a projectile
      3. If the Americans were there before the Iranian boat arrived to take of the supposed mine, why didn’t the Americans take it off?
      4. Why would Iran, meeting at the time the Japanese prime minster, take such a stupid precipitous action
      He made some other points and for once, the garrulous, ignorant Joh Humphries couldn’t gainsay anything said.
      However, later loops of the program made no mention of the Iranian’s points and instead, he grilled the useless Emily Thornberry on Corbyn’s tweet advising caution as there was no convincing evidence that the Iranians were involved. Instead, all he stated, repeatedly, was that Trump and his advisors and the UK government and its advisors were convinced that Iran was responsible. One wonders why, if Humphries had ANY pretensions to being a journalist, he’d have put the points made by the Iranian to Jeremy Hunt and/or Javid.
      And Thornbury, who I understand is a fellow lawyer, is shamefully poor at answering anything and the sooner she is removed as shadow foreign secretary the better. She is truly awful
      But we all know enough about the BBC. I now turn it off as soon as I hear the ponderous and pompous John Simpson, From our own correspondent, which usually features an anti-Russian trope by Steve Rosenberg who speaks so slowly it’s as if he is indulging the ignorant listeners who might be struggling to grasp his trite shyte.
      Rant over.

      • Orford

        I didn’t hear the Iranian prof, but did hear the Thornberry interview, which I thought it was at 8.10ish. It rapidly became clear that Humphries wasn’t interested in discussing the risks of a further intervention in the region, but was after a juicy soundbite to use against Corbyn. In the circumstances I’m not sure she could do not much more than “play a straight bat”. Humphries schtick sucks.

        • Dungroanin

          Thornbury and all front benchers would do well to call time of Friends of … affiliations while in minesterial posts – not saying there is anything wrong with showing solidarity with the oppressed, but just to avoid accusations of collusion, you understand.

          The media faces ought to be straight about their affiliations too.

      • michael norton

        If Limpet mines were fixed to the hull of the Japanese tanker, by anyone, would they not be fixed below the water line?

        • Andyoldlabour

          michael norton

          If they were placed correctly, below the waterline, then we wouldn’t be able to see them and there would be no “evidence”.
          If I take the view of witnesses who said they say objects flying towards the ship, then a more likely attack weapon would be some kind of small, highly portable missile system, such as a “Manpad”. Mostly used in a surface to air scenario for taking down low flying aircraft and helicopters, they have a range of 6000 to 7000 metres, and there is nothing to stop them being used in a surface to surface attack. They are being used by many protaganists in the area.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Andyoldlabour June 15, 2019 at 11:08
            I shouldn’t think that anyone could ‘see’ a Manpad rocket coming towards the ship, surely they travel too fast?
            More likely a drone of some kind.

          • Spencer Eagle

            It’s very unlikely a manpad would be used against a ship. Strange as it may seem, and as large as they are, a ship would present a very problematic target for any surface to air missile. Their targeting systems are very specifically focussed on heat signatures against the clear background of sky, any engagement might, if you were lucky, result in a holed funnel.
            Taking ludicrous limpet mines and flying torpedoes out of the equation, looking at the damage and location it could be: 1/.RPG’s fired by local idiots taking pot shots from a small boat within about 800 metres – possible, depending on visibility, sea conditions and alertness of crew. 2/. An ATGM, such as the Russian Kornet, however the ships were a long way off shore and portable ATGM targeting systems would be near impossible to use from a small boat. ATGM’s have been successfully used by Houthis to attack Saudi vessels near shore in the past. 3/. ATGM’s such as the Hellfire missile or regional equivalent, fired by a drone. If I had to take a punt my money would be on local insurgents out of Oman with RPG’s looking to make a name for themselves – the ships were holed on the Oman side, not the Iranian, or at the other end of the spectrum a Saudi Arabian drone, with the aim of spiking oil prices and turning US heat on Iran.

          • Tom Welsh

            Or possibly one of the many anti-tank missiles (such as the American TOW) with which the Middle East is seething.

          • Tom Welsh

            Actually, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles are usually quite visible for several seconds. Especially if viewed from in front or behind. (Some anti-tank missiles rely on the operator to guide them to the target, which he obviously couldn’t do unless he could see both missile and target right up to the moment of impact).

            I recall reading the experiences of a British tank driver in the Normandy campaign when he actually saw German 88 mm anti-tank shot flying towards his tank. He said they looked just like the head of a seal swimming across a harbour, except that they crossed the half-mile field in front of him in less than a second.

    • Borncynical

      …and according to the BBC red button news Jeremy Hunt has responded that Mr Corbyn’s comments were “pathetic” and said “he should back British Intelligence”. Presumably that’s the British Intelligence whose only evidence is the word of US ‘Intelligence’ (there’s a misnomer if ever there were). Hunt needs to look in a mirror – he and those he speaks for are the “pathetic” ones.

      • Andyoldlabour


        I absolutely hate Hunt, and his comments further convince me that there is a genuine and co-ordinated attempt to start a conflict with Iran. These people are evil personified.

        • Garth Carthy

          If Hunt and his so-called journalist lackeys to the establishment looked in the mirror carefully they would see very ugly faces.
          The media generally, should be called out more and more, because they are the vehicles for the twisted propaganda of the over-grown but deadly schoolchildren that run/ruin our world.

        • Tom Welsh

          “These people are evil personified”.

          They are worse than that: they are mediocre.

        • Trowbridge H Ford

          The Chinese have postponed passage of the extradiction bill which Hunt has stoked up opposition to. Of course, no one talks about Beijing’s wanting one to make sure that Hong Kong doesn’t become a new nesting ground for regime change like Neil Haywood tried to achieve on the mainland through the bribe money he provided to Bo and Gu Xilai about a decade ago.

          The Chinese regime has apparently no legitimacy to protect itself against spying and subversion.

      • Jo Dominich

        Borncynical, he also needs to look into the USA ‘intelligence’ that led to the invasion of Iraq. All of it lies and not supported by one shred of bona fide evidence – this has all been proven now – including admissions by Colin Powell. Also, in the film ‘Vice’ about Dick Cheyney Colin Powell’s opposition to putting these lies to the UN is made clear. So, Hunt et al in the Tories are heavily critical of Tony Blair’s decisions about the invasion of Iraq but, somehow have this delusional belief that the Tory Government are going to put the UK at the forefront of world domination again by hanging on to the shirt tails of Trump, Pompeo, Bolton and Pence. There is no credible evidence it was Iran. It is a well known fact the USA have been gagging for a war with Iraq for a couple of years now. It’s all too convenient. This has Israel/USA/UK fingerprints all over it. Hunt saying Corbyn should trust British Ingtelligence? Skripals spring to mind. British Intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

        • Borncynical


          I agree with all you say. Hunt imploring us to trust US ‘Intelligence’ and British ‘Intelligence’; says all that needs to be said about Hunt’s ‘intelligence’. He’s either as thick as they come or completely cynical, neither being a creditable option. Our Government seem to take great pride in sucking up to the US establishment: they say ‘Jump’, our lot shamefully ask ‘How high?’. We really are the laughing stock of the whole world.

    • Donald McGregor

      You will note that this is (now?) headlined by the hunt opinion of how pathetic JC is to be questioning the story.

    • Dungroanin

      A Government Assessment is not the same as an Intelligence Assessment.

      It implies a political executive bias – ie NO PROOF.

      Curiously, the accusations of Russian interference in Trumps election are funnily of the same order – NOT PROVEN by the the Intelligence Assessment.

      It may be the undoing of Brennan too, Pompeo and Haspell are already on the plank – just after Bolton takes the plunge.

      I’m going to order more pop corn.

  • JMF

    Germany: U.S video not enough to attribute blame over oil tanker attacks.
    A video provided by the United States is not sufficient to prove that Iran is behind the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday.

  • Godfree Roberts

    When you hear rubbish like that delivered with a straight face, you’re listening to power speaking.

  • George

    Both ships were holed above the waterline, a feat entirely doable from a fast RIB and a shoulder fired anti tank weapon. Mines and torpedoes, which would cause underwater damage would require a naval ship. I would be looking for dark money paid to a deniable source such as one of the many rebel groups in the area.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ George June 15, 2019 at 12:20
      If the crew supposedly saw ‘something’ coming at the ship, surely they would have seen, and mentioned, a RIB?

    • JImmeh

      Limpet mines can be attached below the waterline by frogmen; you don’t need “naval ships.”

  • Jeremy Smith

    I just dismay at how British mainstream media has followed the American narrative on Iran. My 18-year old son is off on holiday to Iran on a 10-day trip after he shortly completes his A-levels. Luckily he has dual British-Japanese nationality and he can enter Iran visa-free on his Japanese passport. Tourism from Japan to Iran is perfectly normal and the wealth of Japanese tourist reviews found online paint the country as a wonderful place to visit with incredible hospitality & generosity shown by Iranians to foreign visitors of all nationalities including Brits & Americans who somehow manage to acquire a visa. However, whenever he enthusiastically mentions he his off to Iran on holiday to our neighbours or friends, he is usually greeted with a look of incredulity or at least a tellingly raised eyebrow followed by lengthy questions of why ? Some of these friends are extremely well-educated too. It’s no wonder Mike Pompeo feels he has carte-blanche to make all these things up.

      • Andyoldlabour


        It is a wonderful place to visit. In the 17 reasons link which you posted, I think I have been to most of those places. The architecture is stunning, particularly in Isfahan. Ancient history comes to the fore in Shiraz, Persepolis and Pasargardeh (The tombs set into the cliffs) where the Achamenid kings are buried.
        The food is varied and delicious, and to buy freshly baked bread in the morning is an experience you will not forget.

        Making “Noon Sangak” a popular flatbread cooked in a clay oven over tiny pebbles – “Sangak”.

        • Borncynical


          Nice video! Not only does the bread look lovely and tasty, but it gives you a feel for the kindness and humility of the Iranian people. If I ever get to try it I must remember to check for pebbles first!

    • Andyoldlabour

      Jeremy Smith

      When I visited my wife’s family in Tehran last May, I noticed quite a few Japanese tourists in the shopping centres and Bazaars (Galeria, Paladium and Tajrish). It was easier in 2018 for me to get a visa, but still by no means “easy”.
      I have always been impressed by Iranian hospitality and genuine friendliness.

      • Borncynical


        I first met Iranian people in the early 1970s when my father taught management skills to postgraduate university students from ‘developing countries’. As many of them were in the UK on 12 month training sponsorships from their countries, they were not familiar with this country so my father was also a mentor who was there to help with any personal problems; they would come to our house for meals and a chat, particularly in the early days of their stay. Students attended from across Asia, Africa (mainly Nigeria & the Middle East) and South America. The Iranians and Turks were particularly appreciative and generous to our whole family to the point of embarrassment for us. One of the Iranians had arranged for his elderly mother to visit him in this country and she cooked us a real traditional feast of a meal in his flat …Circassian chicken among other dishes, as I recall.

        As an aside, one of the Turkish students is now a very respected and influential businessman of national standing in Turkey and I still follow his career from afar with fond memories of his humility, courtesy and appreciation when he was a student. It is of little surprise to me that he has been as successful as he has.

        As part of his educational duties my father spent a week or two in each country the students came from in order to offer advice in the ‘workplace’; this was funded by their sponsors, often their family businesses. He was particularly struck by the civility of the Iranians and the beauty of the country. Many of the students kept in touch for many years afterwards.

  • Sharp Ears

    Sky News’ Dominic Waghorn is coming round to question the narrative this morning.

    ‘The most likely culprit is Iran. The tankers were attacked off the Iranian coast and Iranian vessels were reported in the vicinity. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp has form, having attacked shipping in the past. But it is possible the attacks were carried out by Iran’s enemies and made to look like it was responsible. Tehran says it has been framed.’

    Tanker attacks: Was it Iran, and will it lead to war?

    All the state broadcaster can manage is to parrot Hunt.
    ‘Jeremy Hunt brands Labour leader ‘pathetic’ over Iran comments’
    10 minutes ago

    To Hunt, it’s a question of backing an ally!

    • Sarge

      Last year Hunt warned that even a small confrontation with Iran could lead to world war. Our honest media has allowed him to flush that one down the memory hole.

  • Goose

    It’s reported in two Pentagon simulations the Iranians sunk the US Aegis protected fleet by simply overwhelming it. Throw in Russian and Chinese support and it may yet end in total humiliation.

    Quote from the NW article : ” A $250 million dollar exercise known as Millennial Challenge pitted the U.S.’ Blue Team led by Army General Lieutenant General Burwell B. Bell III against a Red Team representing an oil-rich Persian Gulf nation, most associated with either Iran or Iraq, but in actuality led by retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper.

    Despite being significantly outgunned by a much more technologically-advanced adversary, Van Riper launched a massive shock cruise missile salvo that overwhelmed the Blue Team’ Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System radars, sinking a significant portion of what was the equivalent to a strike carrier group. He then led a shock guerilla-like assault of fast attack craft that finished off much of what remained using missiles and suicide charges.” –

    Bell admitted that Van Riper’s forces had “sunk my damn navy,” and had inflicted “an extremely high rate of attrition.

    • Tom Welsh

      Yeah – the brass then insisted that the game be played again “properly” (i.e. so that Blue won). When Van Riper objected, he was kicked out.

      Way to lose their next war!

    • Goose

      The bigger concern of course is escalation; how would the US respond were Iranians to inflict serious damage on their naval fleet? The current US leadership is so unhinged they could resort to WMD use themselves against a non-nuclear power . The US is without doubt the most dangerous, unpredictable country on earth at the moment this according to polls taken in every country around the globe, a belief held by allies and foes alike.

      • Jo Dominich

        Goose, I am very strongly of the view now that Trump and his team of warmongers are so deeply into their megalomania they are devoid of reason, rationale or intelligence. I think a hot war in the next five years is a serious possibility.

    • Spencer Eagle

      Of course the decades of sanctions caused the law of unintended consequences to kick in. Instead of being able to buy arms with oil money, the Iranians have been forced to develop an arms industry of their own. They now field some very capable equipment and systems that the West don’t have a ‘supplier advantage’ over when it comes to countermeasures and tactics when facing them in battle.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Even arch Zionist and tireless promoter of Russiagate, Bill Maher, describes the charge that Iran attacked the tankers as “murky”.

    He compounds his growing catalog of sins by having Bari Weiss, braindead slanderer of Tulsi Gabbard on the discussion panel.

    • Dungroanin

      Israel does NOT want war with Iran – the consequences would be fatal.
      The US Navy does NOT want war with Iran – ditto.
      The US Army does NOT want war IN Iran – ditto.

  • Athanasius

    Thanks for that, Craig, but I think we’d all worked out it was one of the “I” countries in the region.

  • james cormack

    So who dunnit then? I have no time for the Islamic Republic of Iran because it is a human-rights abusing theocracy and every liberal lefty should stand against them. To take the position that anyone who is against the US should be supported is simplistic and childish. Would these lefties have supported Hitler?

    • Goose

      Being against war built on a false pretext is not the same as supporting or endorsing the theocracy there.

      If Iran had no vessels at sea this would be happening. Rory Stewart ( on twitter) claims it’s probably the Iranian version of special forces – the Quds Force – they’re also allegedly firing missiles into the KSA from Yemen along with arming the Houthi rebels. But Yemen is subject to a sea blockade, so I even doubt those reports too, which seem aimed at giving KSA carte blanche in that grisly mess. How the hell are they re-arming or sneaking missiles in past the naval blockade i.e., in al probability they aren’t.

    • Greg Park

      Can you cite Craig Murray having expressed approval for the Islamic Republic of Iran? Or was that just a crude attempt to delegitimize anyone questioning a pointless Trump war?

    • Trowbridge H Ford

      Bur the Iranians like the mullahs better than us, especially when our totaiitarian leaders imposed the Shah on the country, and brutally supported him when the people there overthrew the bastard.

      • Andyoldlabour

        Trowbridge H Ford

        That is the inconvenient truth which you will never hear about on our media.
        Our media has conditioned us to think that all Iranians hate their government, a view which is both simplistic and disingenuous.

        • Borncynical


          Indeed. Just as ‘all Syrians hate Assad’ and ‘all Venezuelans hate Maduro’. It’s all rather predictable and transparent but unfortunately the majority of the public fall for it without question.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ james cormack June 15, 2019 at 14:12
      Iran should be supported because it is in the right, and all the threats and sanctions are coming from the Yanks and their War Criminal cronies, and against international law.
      When the US fought the Nazis, it was ostensibly on the side of the angels, and would have been supported by the great majority of ‘Lefties’.
      I say ‘ostensibly’, because they had been backing and building up Hitler between the wars, and continued even during the war (not bombing strategic targets because they were part-owned by US firms and refuelling German U-boats at sea. Also they went into high gear when the war was over, starving to death tens or hundreds of thousands of ordinary German prisoners of war, whilst protecting and helping to escape justice murderous War Criminals such as Dr. Mengele, even employing them. Then there were the Nazi Gladio setups, where they again protected them from local justice, so they could spearhead their Gladio gangs in Europe..
      Prescott Bush (W’s grandpa) was a director of a Nazi Front Bank before the war.

      • Goose

        Israel has been trying to re-fight WW2 ever since it ended, it sees everyone and anyone, however meek or weak they are militarily eg. Hamas and their home-made rockets, or Corbyn’s moderate, infrequent support for Palestinians, as another potential Hitler. The level of callous disregard for the lives of others( in this case ordinary Iranians) in Israeli society is quite shocking, On Channel 4 in street interviews with ordinary citizens, language about ‘nuking’ Iran was common, the resultant millions of deaths gleefully applauded? The bloodlust is horrendous, whipped up by far-right warmongers. And the US acts like their hired thug.

        • Goose

          Yes, I know, technically the creation of Israel was May 14 1948 – WW2 ended 2 Sep 1945.

          I meant more generally its people have been mentally re-fighting WW2 even before creation a few years after WW2…

        • Goose

          This isn’t even meant as a tirade or anything. Just pointing out there are no ‘moderate’ voices in Israel anymore, compromise with the Palestinians has become a dirty word and you’ve just got hard-right parties vying with each other, often propped up by outright extremists like Otzma Yehudit – Jewish Power, with another ultranationalist ally, Jewish Home who Likud sought the support of.

    • nevermind

      And every Tory from Churchill onwards should be ashamed of ‘the empires’ support for the head choppers of Saudi Arabi!
      Whenever it suits them, anything to sow division an keep control.

    • Wikikettle

      james cormack. No doubt you supported democracy being brought to Vietnam via B52’s. Democracy brought to Iraq, Libya and Syria.The US is helping bring democracy to UK. Discuss. Bases soon in every country, unlimited amounts of money and jobs for local politicians who are funded by citizens united. Its all about human rights…my ass.

    • Michael McNulty

      The ban on abortion in America is based upon religion and makes the Christian fundamentalist right in America as warped as any other religious fruit-loop who insists women wear burqas or can’t walk out unless escorted by a male. It’s a shame women choose abortion but ultimately it’s their body, not the Roman Church’s. As for your other point, like many others I don’t believe a word the US says anymore, but those who support it may yet have the privilege of dying for it in an Iranian war. That must please you?

    • Jo Dominich

      James Cormack. Why on earth would Lefties as you call them support Facism after all, it spends a lot of time demonstrating to oppose it. No, James, No, that will not do. What we have in the UK is a Fascist Government run by a bunch of rich imbeciles who have one brain cell between the entire cabinet. They think that by supporting the USA warmongering Britain will be the second major world power. Well, think again. By the way, what evidence do you have about human rights abuses in Iran or any other middle eastern country for that matter? Take a good look at the USA about how they treat their citizens, their prisoners, their corrupt justice system. Take a look at USA war crimes in South Korea, Iraq, Libya etc etc etc. Be careful what you post or what you believe.

  • Dungroanin

    To add my tuppence to this water spout which may yet expand quickly to a fully fledged tempest, sorry if it has already been mentioned.

    1. Always follow the money.
    – The instant winner of this event is the MIC – as Rand Paul’s plans got holed below the water line and sank quicker than any of the tankers.

    2. Conjuring only works by diverting attention successfuly.
    – As the decades long efforts of imperialism in the ME/Europe/Asia & recently Venezuela) turn to ashes on their tongues (the Bush’s/Clinton/Obama era) and Russia assumes the presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO – a harmless sounding group)

    Read Putins few sentences on taking on the leadership of that group – the NWO is dead dead dead, long live the SCO!

    There is already severe egg landing on the faces of these who rushed to judgement on this.

    • Wikikettle

      Michael Dean. Iran will do everything it possibly can to reason with the remaining signatories of the nuclear deal. I doubt if those countries will however resist US pressure to stop buying Iranian oil. A clear act of war already declared and launched by USA. Iran will be destroyed if it stops oil flow. JC is the only person with any spine to challenge US. Everyone keeps prattling on about how weak he is. That man has most of his own MP’s against him, the whole media and all waiting to get rid of him. They are all little people with no interest in others but themselves.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Comments are closed.