Tanker Seizures and the Threat to the Global Economy from Resurgent Imperialism 333


The British seizure of the Iranian tanker off Gibraltar was illegal. There is no doubt of that whatsoever. The Iranian response to the seizure of its tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar, by the seizure of a British Tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, was also illegal, though more understandable as a reaction. The implications for the global economy of the collapse of the crucial international law on passage through straits would be devastating.

It may seem improbable that the UK and or France would ever seek to close the Dover Strait, but in the current crazed climate it is no longer quite impossible to imagine the UK seeking to mess up access to Rotterdam and Hamburg. It is still easier to imagine them seeking to close the Dover Strait against the Russian Navy. Yet the essential freedom of navigation through the Kerch strait, respected by Russia which controls it, is necessary to the survival of Ukraine as a country. For Turkey to close the Bosphorus would be catastrophic and is a historically recurring possibility. Malaysia and Indonesia would cause severe dislocation to Australia and China by disrupting the strait of Malacca and the Suharto government certainly viewed that as an advantage from which it should have the right to seek to benefit, and was a continued nuisance in UN Law of the Sea discussions. These are just a few examples. The US Navy frequently sails through the Taiwan Strait to assert the right of passage though straits.

Keeping the Strait of Hormuz open is perhaps the most crucial of all to the world economy, but I hope that the above examples are sufficient to convince you that the right of passage through straits, irrespective of territorial waters, is an absolutely essential pillar of international maritime law and international order. The Strait of Gibraltar is vital and Britain has absolutely no right to close it to Iran or Syria. If the obligation on coastal states to keep maritime straits open were lost, it would lead to economic dislocation and even armed conflict worldwide.

Part III of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea relates entirely to passage through straits.

Please note that the right of passage through straits is here absolute, in a UN Convention which is one of the base blocks of international law. It does not state that the right to transit through straits can be subject to any sanctions regime which the coastal state chooses to impose; indeed it is clearly worded to preclude such coastal state activity. Nor can it be overridden by any regional grouping of which the coastal state is a member.

Jeremy Hunt’s statement to parliament that the Iranian tanker had “freely navigated into UK territorial waters” was irrelevant in law and he must have known that. The whole point of passage through straits is that it is by definition through territorial waters, but the coastal state is not permitted to interfere with navigation.

It is therefore irrelevant whether, as claimed by the government of the UK and their puppets in Gibraltar, the tanker was intending to breach EU sanctions by delivering oil to Syria. There is a very strong argument that the EU sanctions are being wilfully misinterpreted by the UK, but ultimately that makes no difference.

Even if the EU does have sanctions seeking to preclude an Iranian ship from delivering Venezuelan oil to Syria, the EU or its member states have absolutely no right to impede the passage of an Iranian ship through the Strait of Gibraltar in enforcement of those sanctions. Anymore than Iran could declare sanctions against Saudi oil being delivered to Europe and close the Straits of Hormuz to such shipping, or Indonesia could declare sanctions on EU goods going to Australia and close the Malacca Strait, or Russia could declare sanctions on goods going to Ukraine and close the Strait of Kerch.

There are two circumstances in which the UK could intercept the Iranian ship in the Strait of Gibraltar legally. One would be in pursuance of a resolution by the UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. There is no such resolution in force. The second would be in the case of a war between the UK and Iran or Syria. No such state of war exists (and even then naval blockade must be limited by the humanitarian measures of the San Remo Convention).

What we are seeing from the UK is old fashioned Imperialism. The notion that Imperial powers can do what they want, and enforce their “sanctions” against Iran, Syria and Venezuela in defiance of international law, because they, the West, are a superior order of human being.

The hypocrisy of arresting the Iranian ship and then threatening war when Iran commits precisely the same illegal act in retaliation is absolutely sickening.

Finally, there will no doubt be the usual paid government trolls on social media linking to this article with claims that I am mad, a “conspiracy theorist”, alcoholic or pervert. It is therefore worth pointing out the following.

I was for three years the Head of the Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I was Alternate Head of the UK Delegation to the UN Preparatory Commission on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. I both negotiated, and drafted parts of, the Protocol that enabled the Convention to come into force. I was the Head of the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre and responsible for giving real time political and legal clearance, 24 hours a day, for naval boarding operations in the Gulf to enforce a UN mandated embargo. There are very few people alive who combine both my practical experience and theoretical knowledge of precisely the subject here discussed.

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333 thoughts on “Tanker Seizures and the Threat to the Global Economy from Resurgent Imperialism

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  • M.J.

    It seems that Iran’s action was no worse than the UK’s. This is why we (citizens generally) need people like you, to enable us to be enabled to form an outlook which is more fair and balanced than that which Fox News might claim for itself. May Providence preserve you for such things.

  • augusto

    thank you.
    I ‘ve learned a bunch of things in this article.
    But I am fully and openly on Iran s side on this imperialist originated business.
    Besides, my criticism on Iran s way of conducting events is plain and simple: It is
    a useless waste of time for Tehran to try competing with the Thames dwellers on this topic.
    They have got an unbridgeable advantage of a THREE CENTURY experience on piracy all over the seven seas! With nobility titles and royal awards geneoursly distributed to pirates ever since the the XVII century. How could the aytollahs dare
    catching up?
    But I am warning Tehran guys to be humble for a while and simply have their Parliament approve to grand and landlease for 15 years a portion of Iran s beaches
    OUT and south of the hormuz straight for an air and naval base for CHina and Russia. Important it is a southern and external external to the straight passage. So it would not interfere if and when Iran takes the extreme step of closing the passage.

  • Wikikettle

    Augusto. Iran does not want or need to close the passage. It is the actions of the ‘B Team’, messers Bolton, Benjamin and Bin Salman, that will make Insurance of the tankers difficult. China needs the oil from Iran and Iran needs to sell it to them. India is making a big mistake trying to sit on the fence. It should avoid overtures from the US. Make peace with Pakistan and China, its neighbours ! We need a multi polar world of free trade and a urgent move by the big nuclear powers towards disarmament and adherence to the UN NPT. It is the US and Israel that are the rouge states.

  • Dungroanin

    Well ‘I don’t give a damn’ insists the legality of the Gibralter piracy is correct’

    ‘Raab said the two seizures were not equivalent. “Grace 1 was intercepted because it was in breach of sanctions and heading with oil for Syria and that was the intelligence,” he said.’

    “We were absolutely lawful entitled to detain it in the way we did. The Stena Impero was unlawfully detained. This is not about some kind of barter. This is about the international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld and that is what we will insist on.”

    Which court handles this? Does the CJEU have any jurisdiction? Can Raab be dragged before the beaks?

    • Wikikettle

      Dungroanin. If fear what Raab said means we wont do a tanker swap and the situation will escalate. International Law since the fall of the USSR has all but vanished. We will do whatever we want ! Might Is Right ! They will get their war, these sick murderous criminals.

  • Harry Law

    Dungroanin, The UK… “This is not about some kind of barter. This is about the international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld and that is what we will insist on.” No, this is about the UK interpreting EU law as applying to states outside the EU. It is not even clear that the ‘sale’ of oil to Syria is included in that EU Resolution, the Resolution certainly cannot interfere with Iranian sales to Syria, unless of course the UK are applying secondary sanctions like the US does. The EU Resolution only binds EU states, both the Resolution and any secondary sanctions are not International law.

  • Mark Galloway

    Hi Craig,
    The ship’s AIS appears to have been turned off or not reporting (at least on the system available to me) from 18-12hrs 3rd July. Shortly before this, the ship made a sharp turn to the north – a little unusual for a ship planning to enter the easterly transit traffic separation zone which lies to the south of the straits. The next position recorded is at 03-36hrs on 4th July at which time the ship was just to the east of the Gibraltar harbour area and at which the Gibraltar authorities claimed it was boarded. It has since remained more or less at the same position. I could not find any published record of the boarding time, beyond this having been “in the early hours.”
    The Gibraltar government’s statement can be found at:
    https://www.facebook.com/gibraltargovernment/posts/2552160918162522
    This claims that the ship was making a pre-arranged call for provisions and spare parts. This is not unusual for a ship which has just made such a long voyage. I have other information in respect of the condition and crewing of other ships under the same operation which would likewise suggest a Gibraltar call was not something unexpected.
    I can agree entirely with your general comments in respect of the rights of transit and innocent passage. I wonder how much the above makes you rethink your post on this topic.

  • Steve Hayes

    “Keeping the Strait of Hormuz open is perhaps the most crucial of all to the world economy…” I am wondering how you square this position with your Climate Change alarmism?

    • Wikikettle

      Steve Hayes. So you would like to close the straits and have a war ? Just as what happened by blockading Japan prior to Pearl Harbour. Craig has young children and no doubt would like them to grow up in a world free of war and death of others children, and the pollution from war damaging mother earth. What do you want for your children ?

  • Wikikettle

    There was a great feeling of hope as we marched against the war on Iraq in the numbers we did. The father told the son not to do it, and he did. BJ’s father the same. He the new Churchill ! An election coming up ! The song Shipbuliding comes to mind….

    • Wikikettle

      Is it worth it ?
      A new winter coat and shoes for the wife
      And a bicycle on the the boys birthday
      Its just a rumor that was spread around town
      By the women and children, soon we’ll be shipbuilding

      Well I ask you
      The boy said ‘Dad, they’re are going to take me to task
      But I’ll be home by Christmas

      It was just a rumor that was spread around town
      Somebody got filled in
      For saying that people get killed in
      The result of their shipbuilding

      With all the will in the world
      Diving for dear life
      When we could be be diving for pearls

  • michael norton

    “Electric mobility worldwide will mean diminished demand for oil,
    and many oil companies will move towards battery producers for electric vehicles,”
    https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/china-electric-cars-drive-chilean-copper-190725181218499.html
    Scotland newest off-shore wind farm, opened by Price Charles.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-49125399

    As more and more electricity is produced by re-newables and as trains are electrified and as ships are powered by Methane/wind
    Oil will be much less relevant, within fifteen years.

  • Olaf S

    We are hysterical. But don’t blame us!

    “…the (Senate Intelligence) committee said a major purpose of Russia’s involvement may have been to cause hysteria and affect America’s confidence in democracy. In fact, the panel said, Russia may have wanted their activities to be discovered”.

    from this article:
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mcconnell-modern-day-mccarthyisim-feckless-obama-policies-washington-post-russian-asset

    (It has no end. They seem completely lost in their paranoia. And when it comes to the next election, one thing is more certain than anything else: The cool-headed Putin will want to stay away from that mad circus, as far as possible).

  • mike

    Corbyn’s against fracking, so of course the state broadcaster brings on the owner of a fucking fracking company to trash him.

    Bozo the fascist tours the country and the state broadcaster soft soaps him, while Campbell the war criminal is given plenty of time and space about not rejoining Labour.

    News management from the centrists, all designed to target Corbyn, and never mind Bozo’s cabinet full of extreme right wingers. That’s not important right now.

    Why do people still pay for this crap?

    • Dungroanin

      Indeed Mike,

      Today the Groaniad is unashamedly running a fake news story on the Russia Trump fraud and giving even more free coverage to that thug of spin mastery, Alistair Campbell.

      They are connected by ‘dodgy dossiers’.

      Apparently some texts between the FBI and our Secret Services going back to pre – Trump election are ‘exclusively’ released to the Groan!
      No provenance is attributed.
      From that they proceed to admit the collusion of our secret services without mentioning many relevant aspects of the conspiracy – no mention of Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, the man originating the lie of Russian dirt on Clinton, the well connected Mefsud and the dodgy dossier put together with the help of a Russian, living in the west …
      The lying liars at the Groan are about to be exposed for their own role in the shenanigans !

      It probably won’t be long before they start changing the article so read the lies before that happens.

      Campbell is moving onto full campaign mode – to stop people voting Labour. Mandy puts the oar in too. They carry on playing the man not the ball – as they move to bypass a general election that would risk a Corbynite government with genuine labour policies instead of the sham they sold to us as socialism.

      They have also censored Steve Bell’s ‘If’ strip on the second day! And it doesn’t even allude to the nitinyahoo!! Luckily Steve also publishes all his work at his belltoons site.

      As we move into a hot war of narrative control – gird your loins for the full on public bill boards attacking Jezza, Dianne & Mac Donald

      • Tony

        Censorship at the Guardian is very common.
        The Guardian cannot, of course, review every book. However, it is very noticeable that biographies of Lyndon Johnson by the likes of Robert Caro, Robert Dallek etc get reviewed.

        By contrast, books such as those by Philip F. Nelson that examine his role in killing President Kennedy are never reviewed. His latest book only came out last year and alleges collusion between LBJ and J. Edgar hoover in the assassination of Martin Luther King. An important issue, you might think, but not one the Guardian was willing to look at.

          • Dungroanin

            But they ignore the actual illegal manipulation by their secret super brained hero Dominic ‘Strangelove’ Cummings.

            As they have done for the last 3 years.

            He actually served up a billion facebook ads to get a million votes.

            What these ads were, who they were aimed at, how much it cost, how they were paid for and the inputs from FB and SCL are ALL ignored by the diversionary Carol ‘Integrity Initiative’ Cadwalladr.

            As a style point I don’t post links to the Guardian, they don’t deserve free publicity, everyone is capable of looking it up themselves, if they need to.

  • Glasshopper

    Of course there is no mention in the MSM of the scandalous, cruel and unethical sanctioning of a country desperately trying to recover from years of war.
    This is the real story, and the silence is deafening!

  • Wikikettle

    There is some good news – that war criminal, Campbell has left the Labour Party and Watson been accused of anti-semitism. Hopefully he gets kicked out. Irony or what.

    • Ken Kenn

      Campbell got thrown out of The Labour Party, deservedly.

      From someone who voted three ( make that four with Brown ) times for the Blairite New Labour party
      this bloke has the brassest of brass necks.

      Only due to being virulently anti Tory ( politicains and voters ) as per usual in the UK it always comes
      down to voting for the least worst/damaging government on offer at the time

      The likes of Blair Campbell and Mandelson genuinely believe that like Boris it’s personality and branding that win over voters.

      Like Johnson they think that voters like them – the deluded beggars.

      Next business – Getting rid Watson and any other centrist Labour MPs who would rather have a Tory government than a Labour one.

      Then a Vote of no confidence and an election to prevent a No Deal.

      Corbyn wants one but very few others do.

      Why would that be if you want to get rid of this terrible Tory and DUP lot?

      Simple answer – they don’t but they have to look like they do.

      Otherwise incomes might diminish and if the shysters can hang on until 2022 or five years hence
      that’ll give them enough time to schmooze .to the rich to be employed by the rich in the future.

      Campbell’s a schmoozer like many before and after him.

      Join Chuka in the Lib Dims – that’s my advice.

      At the next election they might get 15 seats.

      Reach for the stars I say Jo.

  • Goose

    “Separately, the US embassy in Berlin confirmed it had formally asked Germany, as well as Britain and France, to join it in a naval mission in the Gulf, which could form part of the UK-led efforts.” – Guardian today.

    US now pleading with Germany to be involved, the SPD however rightly smell a rat. Nils Schmid, a foreign affairs spokesman for the SPD parliamentary party, in an interview with Stuttgarter Zeitung. “It should stay like that. Otherwise, there is a risk of being pulled into a war against Iran on the side of the United States.”

    -Tanker seized by UK on US orders.
    – Making Iran take a reciprocal step.
    – Setting up of International Maritime force.
    – FS Raab today urges Western allies not to engage in a “geopolitical EU versus US tussle” over plans for competing naval missions in the Persian Gulf to protect shipping.
    – All those naval forces nicely gathered in the Gulf.
    – What happens next , you don’t have to be a genius to guess.

    … and it all started with the Grace1

  • Wikikettle

    Pax Brittanica. 2019. We can stop ships going into the Med. We can stop Syria importing oil. Tell the Russian Federation to go away and shut up. Interfere in US elections to stop Trump winning. Have troops on the Russian border. Start a war with the Persians. Loads of money.
    It was the same hubris that bankrupted us building all those Dreadnoughts.

    • michael norton

      If the “British” boat Imperio was really British and if the crew were British, I expect the Montrose would not have allowed the boat to be taken by the Iranians.
      Duncan now on duty in Gulf of Persia.

      • michael norton

        The inference of the Montrose, allowing the “British” Imperio to be captured is obvious.
        The British government wanted a tanker taken, so they could build up the Royal Navy Fleet in the Gulf of Persia.
        As is now happening.
        So, the lure was taken.

        • Wikikettle

          michael norton. So do you think the policy is to blockade the Iranians, stop them exporting their oil, while keeping the oil from
          the other Gulf States flowing ?

          • michael norton

            Wikikettle, maybe not.
            If the Royal Navy shadow British registered shipping but not shipping from the rest of the World ( other than perhaps shipping registered to the U.S.A.), there will be much greater pressure by Iraq/Kuwait and other Gulf States on Iran to comply with American/British wishes.
            So the almost complete shut down of trade through the Straits of Hormuz will bring these matters to a solution, more rapidly.

  • Elsa

    Creig. you are wrong!
    The iranians only boarded the ship as it had had a impact with another vessel and failed too stop as required to do so by law.

    So how does it make it illegal them seizing the ship when it could of caused a disaster if it was too start leaking its contents into the sea?

  • Wikikettle

    This could be an own goal, on our part. Shipping companies are ditching the ‘British flagging’ of their ships to avoid problems. This does impact on our revenues. The Iranians say they don’t want a swap. Each issue should be resolved legally. I don’t think BJ wants to back down and may want confrontation in the face of the poison chalice with all its different toxic ingredients.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Iran at least has the alleged reason that the British tanker in question struck a small boat and did not heed the event but continued on.

    This might be just an excuse, of course, but it also is something that probably happens often in ocean transit between first world countries and third world countries, because of colonial and corporate attitudes. I can easily see some British ship officer declaring, “Oh, the boat didn’t sink, they’ll be fine, carry on.” So Iran notices this due to a radioed distress call and says, “Hmm, here’s an opportunity to do ‘tit-for-tat’ with the Brits, they did something illegal, we’ll do something legal by detaining this ship.”

    And when the US and its allies start seizing Iranian oil tankers actually in the Gulf for purposes of enforcing Trump’s stated intention for “zero Iranian oil sales” – which will be an illegal blockade and an act of war, even if undeclared – Iran will be fully within its rights to close the Straits of Hormuz to all shipping. The US intends this outcome to justify attacking Iran militarily because the US fully intends to start a war with Iran. They just want to be able to blame Iran for it – because Trump is the same sort of “stunning narcissist” (to quote Norman Finkelstein about Obama) that Obama was.

    • Wikikettle

      Richard Steven Hack. As with Craig, Norman Finkelstein lost his job for speaking truth to power. The relentless pressure and threats on Iran have been exerted for decades now. Notwithstanding unleashing our dog then, Sadam, onto them. Crime upon crime blood upon blood. I really don’t care what happens in our domestic affairs such as Brexit. If these so called people are capable of so much death and misery, stopping JC from becoming our PM is a given. The majority of people at home don’t really care about what we do overseas despite the risk and sacrifice made by hero’s such as Jullian, Craig and Norman. We live in an age of barbarism dressed up in middle class effluence running down to a sunless sea.

    • Wikikettle

      David. The Express does not support the German view. Iran would not face UK in a war. It would face the combined forces of US and UK.
      The Saudi ‘defence’ budget is huge compared to the sanctioned Iranian.

      • Wikikettle

        David. What do you mean by ‘battle winning Iranian military vs. UK mildly overweight and underfunded military’. Iran would be destroyed in any war and you know it. Just more propaganda for more money for weapons and the coming general election.

        • Wikikettle

          David. Upgraded US B 52’s like vultures are gathering just across the water from Iran. We know how they carpet bombed Vietnam. Three million people died in that war. The US fleet with nuclear powered aircraft carriers just across the water. US ‘defence’ budget $700 Billion….Oh..and add the 27 other countries of NATO to your stats with all their planes, tanks, ships and
          Express reader will be better informed mate.

          • Wikikettle

            50,000 American conscripts died in the Vietnam war. Hundreds of thousands injured. The Draft dodgers then are now running the show, Trump, Pompeo and Bolton.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Tis the silly season after all. The US via Ms Mnuchin has imposed sanctions on the Iranian Foreign Minister.

    https://www.rt.com/news/465509-us-santions-iran-zarif/

    Mr Zarif has replied:
    ‘Javad Zarif

    @JZarif
    The US’ reason for designating me is that I am Iran’s “primary spokesperson around the world”
    Is the truth really that painful?
    It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran.
    Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda.’

    • Andyoldlabour

      Sharp Ears
      It is an absolutely ridiculous situation which only shows the rest of the world how pathetic the US is. Trump wants to impose a global travel ban on Zarif, which would include not letting him visit New York for UN meetings.

  • Mark Galloway

    Hi Craig, a further note to draw attention to a BBC interview with the Captain. He appeared to confirm that the ship was indeed in Gibraltar waters and wondered why it was necessary to have an exceptional level of armed force to detain the ship when a normal arrest order (typically served on the ship by the harbour authorities or the local court officials) would have been sufficient. You drew attention to new regulation, introduced on July 3, which allows Gibraltar to designate and detain ‘specified ships’ for up to 72 hours if the chief minister has reasonable grounds to suspect a breach of EU regulations. This appears to have been a necessary fig-leaf for state intervention in respect of the cargo. There appears to have been some admission that the cargo was indeed originally destined for Baniyas, but documentation was changed to Cyprus, presumably in anticipation of a ship-to-ship transfer. I have seen absolutely no MSM mention of the signficant number of ships detained and diverted by Saudi Arabia in pursuit of its war against the Houthi.

  • Sharp Ears

    How Robert Fisk sees it –
    Trump is powering the UK’s preparations for war – it is he who needs to be deterred, not Iran
    Let’s stop pretending that Middle East sanity can emerge from the current inhabitant of the White House
    July 30, 2019
    It’s about time we wised up to what is going on in this utterly farcical “crisis” in the Gulf, this charade of lies and pomposity which Trump and his doggies in London are presenting to us.

    He concludes:
    ‘It might be a good idea, right now, to remember what it’s like to patrol the Gulf off the Iranian coastline. Just over 30 years ago, I was aboard one of the Montrose’s older sister ships, the frigate HMS Broadsword, as it escorted British tankers through the Strait of Hormuz and under the gaze of the Revolutionary Guards. To give readers a touch of reality – real reality, so to speak – this is what I wrote at the time:

    “What afflicted most of the seamen in the Gulf was the heat. It burnt the entire decks until they were, quite literally, too hot to walk on. British sailors stood on the edges of their shoes because of the scalding temperatures emerging from the steel. The depth-charge casings, the Bofors gun-aiming device, were too hot to touch. On the helicopter flight deck, the heat rose to 135 degrees, and only a thoughtless leading hand would have touched a spanner without putting his gloves on. It created a dull head, a desperate weariness, an awesome irritation with one’s fellow humans on the foredeck. Inside the ship … the heat shuffled through the vessel faster than the seamen. The officer’s mess was a cool 80 degrees. One glass of water and I was dripping. Open the first watertight door and I was ambushed by the heat … After the second door, I walked into a tropical smelter, the familiar grey monochrome sea sloshing below the deck. How can men work in this and remain rational?”

    Yes, I guess “reason” is what it’s all about, but our masters no longer possess this faculty. Broadsword was sold off to the Brazilians, by the way, almost a quarter of a century ago, in 1995. The Bridgeton was scrapped in India seven years later. And that’s where our crazed leaders belong today: in the breakers’ yard.’
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52005.htm

    Craig’s article is also on that website.

  • Alyson

    The details of the build up of tension are covered in this article

    https://ejmagnier.com/2019/06/21/iran-and-trump-on-the-edge-of-the-abyss/?fbclid=IwAR1PVfZJWLVGIsB-pqDQxroAoAYxnsf24ZyRFiuzEVXOpBP1S7sS79Y8qFM

    “According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.

    Iran is not inclined to help Trump come down from the tree he has climbed and would rather keep him confused and cornered. Furthermore, Iran would love to see Trump fail to win a second term, and will do everything to help oust him from the White House at the end of his mandate in 2020.”

    And this one for background information

    https://lobelog.com/trump-has-a-259-million-reason-to-bomb-iran/?fbclid=IwAR2TWsxZxS-kqZnKvmK7ekisSqIE0fUwzM7-FNVpQq3VB_D55ET8FvFT4aE

    “Singer, alongside Marcus and Adelson, has contributed generously to the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose experts have spent the past decade regularly promoting policies to pressure Iran economically and militarily, including most recently Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach.

    According to donor rolls of FDD’s biggest supporters by the end of 2011, a year that saw a sharp rise in tensions and rumors of war by Israel against Iran, Adelson contributed $1.5 million, Paul Singer contributed $3.6 million, and Bernard Marcus, who sits on FDD’s board, contributed $10.7 million.”

      • Alyson

        Tulsi is not on the same page as Bernie and Ocasio Cortez. She lacks their depth and compassion – qualities which America badly needs after the current rule by the NRA that has dominated Trump’s ideology

  • Sharp Ears

    The UK is still doing the US’s bidding.

    ‘The Foreign Office refused to comment.’ according to the UK’s state broadcaster just now. Watching their News Channels you would think it was American owned and run.

    Iran tanker row: US requests detention of Grace 1 in Gibraltar
    12 minutes ago
    The US Department of Justice has put in a request to detain supertanker Grace 1, which will be considered by Gibraltar’s attorney general.
    The vessel, carrying Iranian oil, was seized by Royal Marines on 4 July – triggering a standoff with Tehran.
    It was set to be released within hours, after the attorney general indicated he would make no further order for its detention.
    But after the US application the matter has been adjourned until 15:00 BST.
    /..
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49355591

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