Incident in the Persian Gulf: the United States in climbing mode

British frigate HMS Montrose. Image: British Ministry of Defense. Open Government License

Iranian boats reportedly harassed a British tanker. According to Pentagon officials, only the threat of armed force has helped

This is the ship's next message encouraging supporters of a tougher stance against Iran, saying the threat emanating from this location should not be underestimated: Iranian gunboats tried unsuccessfully Wednesday to secure a British tanker in the Persian Gulf. "seizure" or get hold of it, CNN reported. As a source, the US broadcaster has appointed two US officials who would have "immediate knowledge" of the incident.

"Grab" or "squeeze"

You have to pay attention to almost every word of these messages. At least on the keywords. In the CNN message quoted is the intention of the Iranian boats facing the tanker British heritage with "seize" reproduces what was described here with "seize" or "get caught". The BBC's subsequent announcement on Thursday afternoon instead uses the word "hinder", which could result in "hindrance" or "pressure" similar. The message of the British broadcaster is based on the statements of the spokesman for the British Minister of Defense.

Not a big difference, since both actions are aggressive in the first place?

The message of the BBC shows the difference. He used "seizure" for the confiscation of an Iranian oil tanker by the Gibraltar authorities last week, which had been preceded by the launch of the tanker by the British navies. And he mentions from the beginning that Iran officially denies any attempt to "seize" / seize the British oil tanker "British Heritage".

At CNN, although hidden in the updated message, the phrase that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards deny trying to "stop the tanker" appears. But the sentence is in the middle of a longer text that steers the trail from the beginning to reading that it is aggression against the British ship near the Strait of Hormuz Apparently, it was perhaps the retaliatory action announced from the hands of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Now, the denial of Revolutionary Guards, who do not want to be aware of such an incident – "in the Strait of Ormuz" (Tagesschau) – is not necessarily to be taken for the apparent value. The incident was noisy tanker tracker in international waters off the Strait of Hormuz.

The guards of the revolution have long been in rhetorical conflict with the United States and Britain. In this verbal war, many things are also exhausted on this page, not just on Trump's side.

The threat, after the seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 Mohsen Rezaee, General of the Revolutionary Guards, who, according to Guardian, was the commander-in-chief of the IRGC in the tanker war during the war between Iranian and Iraqi tankers in the 1980s, himself captured a British ship.

Foreign Minister Sarif: The allegations are aimed at escalation

The fact that the Iranian Foreign Minister, Sarif, also opposed CNN's allegations and described them as worthless, without commenting in detail, shows that it is all politically important topic for which he leans out the window. After all, the British government has made specific allegations against Iran, as the person responsible for the action to prevent the British Heritage vessel from crossing the Strait of Ormuz: "Contrary to international law , three Iranian ships have attempted to prevent the passage of a merchant ship, British Heritage, across the Strait of Hormuz. "

For Sarif, the purpose of the claims is clear: it is about escalating tensions. He opposes allegations that the tanker passed the Strait of Hormuz. However, it does not mention what happened in the Persian Gulf between the island of Abu Musa and the west coast of the Emirates, according to British and American reports, as in the case of the statements. made in the reports in English by the IRGC. : The British tanker was attacked by "three Iranian boats" – and only with the help of the frigate that accompanies it HMS Montrose could prevent.

United States Plans: An International Fleet Off the South Coast of Iran

The warship in Bahrain is parked consequently pushed themselves between the boat attackers and the British tanker. According to Pentagon representatives (!), Who apparently would like to reveal more than their colleagues at the London Defense Ministry, Iranian boats have only been arrested, as of HMS Montrose was threatened with the use of force of arms.

Why does one page say more than the other? Clearly, the deterrent effect of the threat of armed force fits well with the US plan to "build an international fleet off the south coast of Iran and around the Arabian Peninsula", as said General Joseph Dunford, of the US Navy. "in front of a small circle of selected journalists" is reported:

According to a plan completed only a few days ago, the United States would provide the company with command ships and military intelligence. The well-disposed ally of the Navy would oversee the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait, then escort tankers and other merchant vessels.

Young world

You are still looking for supporters, they say. The current incident, as broadcast in the UK and US media, is an appropriate part of the threat discourse. That such an upgrade is not a de-escalation, but a provocation, should not be neglected. Here are the "Ship Messages" of the last weeks that some questions are still open and that the stories transmitted (news: narratives) are not necessarily submitted.

Incident in Gibraltar: Violation of EU sanctions?

For example, the seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1, which would be under the direction of the United States, is based on a strong and solid legal basis, namely the violation of EU sanctions. An expert in European and American commercial law, Tomasz Wlostowski, who is not suspected of being an Iranian lobbyist but who closely follows the messages and their justifications, took the trouble to assist Look closely at the legal bases,

In summary: the critical point for which EU sanctions are justified by law (the transport of oil by Iran is not included) would be the Syrian destination port of Baniyas.

The fact that the Iranian oil tanker wanted to start this goal is not really confirmed. The Gibraltar authorities on Thursday arrested the Indian captain of the ship, which could give the information that corresponds to the speculation that Baniyas was indeed the destination port of the crude oil loaded on the ship.

But there are also arguments against this, which are presented on the Tanker Trackers website. As a result, the vessel can not be docked and is known to perform ship-to-ship cargo transfers. So we could also assume that the crude oil should have been loaded on a ship that should not supply Syria, but another country.

The oil tanker allegedly sunk by Iran leads to Iran?

The example of the Norwegian tanker shows how certain hypotheses may be later. Andrea VictoryHe had been hit and damaged in May by an "unknown object" while mooring the ship in the emirate of Fujairah. Iran was suspected of sabotage as well as subsequent incidents (see Explosions of Tankers in the Strait of Hormuz: Pompeo blames Iran).

It now turns out that the Andrea Victory, according to Bloomberg, after the repair work resumed and loaded with "fuel", the "Ship to Ship" was loaded, heading to a destination port in Iran . How does this fit with the framework (framework) in which US leaders present the ship's messages?
(Thomas Pany)