Amidst the worldwide pandemic induced scare most of us have probably lost track of all the other potential dangers which still threaten international peace and stability. Allow me to list just a few headlines which, I strongly believe, deserve much more attention than what they got so far. Here we go:
- Military Times: “5 Iran tankers sailing to Venezuela amid US pressure tactics“
- Time: “5 Iranian Tankers Head to Venezuela Amid Heightened Tensions Between U.S. and Tehran“
- FoxNews: “Iran tankers sailing to Venezuela in effort to undermine US sanctions“
Notice that Military Times speaks of “US pressure tactics”, Time of “tensions” and FoxNews of “efforts to undermined US sanctions”?
I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Folks in the US military are much more in touch with reality than the flag-waving prostitutes which some people call “reporters” or “journalists”.
Furthermore, the US has embarked on a new policy to justify its acts of piracy on the high seas with something called Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) all under the pretext of the war on drugs. To get a better understanding of the context of these developments I asked a specialist of Maritime issues of our community, NatSouth, who replied the following: (stress added)
If a ship does not comply with the request to be boarded, it is usual that the pursuing authorities must gain the permission of the ‘flag’ state prior to boarding, on the high seas and the pursuit has to have started in the coastal state’s jurisdictional waters. The caveat here is that in the Caribbean – Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement (CRA) – (long name: Agreement Concerning Co-operation in Suppressing Illicit Maritime and Air Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in the Caribbean Area). So, there is an agreement with participating coastal states on boardings and pursuits in EEZs and the like. You can find more on the legal aspects of boardings at sea here: https://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2344&context=hlr and more info on so-called “consensual boardings” here: https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/international-law/the-legal-implications-of-consensual-boarding-international-law-essay.php
The anti-drug/ counterterrorism angle allows the U.S. Navy and the USCG to carry out interdictions on the high seas. Important point to note whether this approach will be taken to interdict the tankers, given that Venezuela is a declared narco-State. The absurdity is that Venezuela isn’t the primary transit point in the region, Colombia holds that honour. https://orinocotribune.com/narco-state-the-report-that-leaves-venezuela-on-the-sidelines-of-the-cocaine-route/
If I could add at this point, the origins are that Venezuela didn’t wish to play ball with Washington anymore, specifically with the DEA back in 2005, squaring the circle of sorts, (or should that be a vicious circle cunningly used by Washington, because who is going to argue with that narrative, aka the war on terror). March: SOUTHCOM’s Adm. Faller: “There will be an increase in US military presence in the hemisphere later this year. This will include an enhanced presence of ships, aircraft, & security forces to reassure our partners… & counter a range of threats to include illicit narco-terrorism.” At the same time, the State dept released this https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/1260988270302777350 so the US could effectively carry out boardings under the guise of counterterrorism as well.
While the Iranian tankers were in the Mediterranean, Washington released a (delayed) “Global Maritime Sanctions Advisory”, to the maritime industry, setting out guidelines to shipowners and insurers to enable them to avoid the risks of sanctions penalties related to North Korea, Syria and Iran. This also concerns oil exports from Iran, (but doesn’t apply to Iranian flagged ships). This came after the State Dept gave warning notice to oil companies to stop operations, including Rosneft (Russia), Reliance (India) and Repsol (Spain).
Then NatSouth concluded the following:
Under international law, every merchant ship must be registered with a flag state, which has jurisdiction over the vessel. Hence, this time, the use of Iranian-flagged tankers, as a direct response from Washington’s latest version of restating “maximum pressure” campaign on enforcement of Iran and Venezuela sanctions, (back in Feb, literally the same language as in Aug 2019). There was talk back then of a naval embargo, which would a serious notch up in tensions. There was mention of the 4 U.S. warships in the Caribbean, the U.S. Navy tweeted about, but one the Preble went through the Panama Canal into the Pacific). https://twitter.com/USNavy/
Pretty clear, isn’t it?
What the US is doing is substituting itself for the United Nations and it is now openly claiming the right to board any vessel under whatever kind of pious pretext like, say, narco-trafficing, nuclear proliferation, sanctions against so-called “rogue states”, etc. Clearly, the AngloZionists expect everybody to roll over and take it.
How likely is that?
Let’s look at a few Iranian headlines, all from PressTV:
- PressTV, May 16th: “Iran’s fuel shipment to Venezuela guaranteed by its missile power“
- PressTV, May 17th: “US aware Iran will respond ‘very strongly’ if Venezuela-bound ships attacked: Analyst“
- PressTV, May 18th: “Iran: US bears responsibility for any foolish act against tankers heading to Venezuela“
Three days in a row. I think that it is fair to assume that the Iranians are trying very hard to convince Uncle Shmuel not to mess with these tankers. Does anybody seriously believe that the Iranians are bluffing?
Before we look at some of the aspects of this potential crisis, let’s just mention a few things here.
First, the US is acting in total and official illegality. Just like the bombing of Syria, the threats to Iran, or the US murderous sanctions Uncle Shmuel imposes left and right – the blockade of Venezuela is a) totally illegal and b) an act of war under international law.
Second, if USN commanders think they can operate with impunity only because the Caribbean is far away from Iran, they are kidding themselves. Yes, Iranian forces cannot defend these tankers so far away from home, nor can they take any action against the USN in the Atlantic-Caribbean theater of naval operations. But what they can and will do is retaliate against any AngloZionist target in the Middle-East, including any oil/gas tanker.