Trump Regime Orchestrated Tanker War
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Britain is a subservient appendage of US foreign policy, the same true for most other NATO countries, Israel, others in Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere.
Turkey notably broke with the US by buying Russian S-400 air defense missiles, the gold standard for this purpose, ignoring threatened Trump regime retaliation.
Ankara perhaps could leave NATO because of numerous hostile US actions against the country and its leadership. Its military is second largest in the alliance to the Pentagon's.
At the same time, it's strengthening its ties to Russia, a reliable foreign partner, respecting the sovereign rights of all nations, polar opposite US rage for global dominance, tolerating none unwilling to bend to its will.
Following the first delivery of S-400 equipment to Turkey, Trump regime hardliners and the Pentagon have been uncharacteristically silent.
According to Bloomberg News, the White House is preparing (illegal) sanctions on Turkey, citing unnamed sources, what's coming likely to be announced later this week, further rupturing bilateral relations if Ankara reacts sharply and perhaps retaliates.
When it comes to relations with Iran and observing its JCPOA obligations, Britain clearly showed it willingly partners with Washington's hostile imperial agenda, notably its intolerance of sovereign independent states and extrajudicial actions.
Failing to fulfill its JCPOA commitments and seizing Iran's Grace 1 supertanker in international waters were flagrant international law breaches.
These actions showed Britain's alliance with the Trump regime's aim to render the landmark nuclear deal null and void — while pretending otherwise.
It's where things are heading because its Western signatories failed to observe its provisions after Trump's unlawful May 2018 pullout.
The action was taken to kill the deal, encouraging Iran to return to its (legitimate) pre-JCPOA nuclear activities, then using this as a pretext for possible war on the country with coalition of the willing partners if able to enlist them.
If launched, it'll be preemptively by the USA against a nation threatening no one, observing its international law obligations.
It doesn't matter when conflicting with Washington's aim to return Iran to client state status and gain control over its huge hydrocarbon reserves, a prize its hardliners covet.
US orchestrated tanker war remains unresolved. On Saturday, Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif told his UK counterpart Jeremy Hunt by phone that his "government must immediately adopt required measures to end the illegal seizure of the Iranian oil tanker."
Zarif stressed the illegality of Trump regime sanctions, saying his nation will continue exporting oil freely to world markets, its legal right.
Hunt tied release of the tanker to assurance from Tehran that no oil will be shipped to Syria. Zarif stressed that his government will continue exporting oil "under any circumstances."
Iran said its tanker's destination was not Syria, the country's main Latakia seaport unable to handle a large supertanker like Grace 1.
Tehran rightfully insists it'll export oil, gas, and other products freely to world markets welcoming them — its lawful right no unilateral US sanctions can legally deny.
On Sunday, Iranian envoy to Britain Hamid Baeidinejad tweeted the following:
"Having miscalculated in its unlawful seizure of tanker, UK should not repeat its miscalculation. Ship did NOT violate any law or norm - but UK, through its illegal piracy, most certainly has. Failure to release the tanker and its cargo will NOT be left unanswered."
Hunt was less than candid, saying "(t)he situation is changing every hour, but we are reacting to what is happening in measured and careful way and we are being clear to Iran that we are seeking to escalate the situation."
Clearly Britain's Grace 1 seizure was a flagrant act of maritime piracy under the UN Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Deploying two warships to the Persian Gulf on the phony pretext of an Iranian threat that doesn't exist further escalated things.
Iranian lawmaker Mohammadreza Pour-Ebrahimi stressed that his government "will not give an inch against the English's measure. The Iranian Parliament will adopt its decision on the case next week and the government will pursue it," adding:
Britain's "action is the continuation of (its) animosity against the Iranian nation both before and after the Revolution. (Its unacceptable behavior) will not be left unanswered."
Iran will not be unlawfully or otherwise dictated to by the US, Britain, or its imperial partners. Nor should any nation tolerate this type treatment.
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