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Iran

Discussion in 'RM Operational News' started by RM_Yorkshire, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. rkec

    rkec Member

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    If Iran were smart, knowing that there is no political value in holding the crew. They'd release them and take the PR high ground, seeing as we are still holding their's. Plus the last thing you want is one of these crew members randomly getting sick dying on you. Nor would they be wise to bring other countries into this. They'd be best just focusing on Iranian ship v UK ship.
     
  2. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    My speculation is that this is exactly where we are now. The crews have no value because apparently none are UK or USA citizens. The game will escalate when UK or US crew personnel are captured.
     
  3. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Interestingly during the Iraq Iran war, one phase being the Tanker War, mentioned from one viewpoint in previous post, a little known fact being that a number of former Royal Marines spent time on the Iranian side of the Gulf.o_O
    Transiting between Bander and Kharg Island numerous times. :eek:
    Never any hassle from the Iranians.:cool:
     
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  4. News

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    A Royal Navy frigate is heard warning Iranian armed forces, moments before a British-flagged oil tanker was seized in the Gulf.

    Continue reading...
     
  5. rkec

    rkec Member

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    More info breaking from a credible journo -

    Opera Snapshot_2019-07-21_105800_twitter.com.png
     
  6. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    The less involved with Trumps America the better.-banghead-
     
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  7. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Not forgetting....


    Panama cites ‘deliberate violations’ as it disowns UAE-based tanker seized by Iran

    Published time: 21 Jul, 2019 04:51 Edited time: 21 Jul, 2019 08:47

    upload_2019-7-21_11-52-35.jpg

    A tanker which, according to Iranian State TV, was smuggling fuel in the Gulf, seen in a video screen grab © Reuters / Reuters TV / IRINN

    The plot has thickened around the disappearance of the oil tanker MT Riah, towed to Iranian shores last week, with Panama saying it is revoking the ship’s registration over violation of international rules.

    Panama's Maritime Authority on Saturday announced that it initiated the process of withdrawing its flag from the Emirati-based tanker Riah, which vanished south of Iran’s Larak Island.

    In a statement cited by Reuters, the authority said that its own investigation into the tanker’s disappearance had found that it “deliberately violated international regulations” by failing to report an unusual situation, presumably its seizure by the Iranian Navy. The authority also condemned the use of Panama-registered vessels for “illicit activities” without ascribing any such specific activity to the Riah.

    The tanker went missing from radar screens shortly before midnight last Saturday, when its tracking signal abruptly blinked out. On Tuesday, the Iranian news agency ISNA reported, citing the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the Iranian forces came to a foreign tanker’s rescue after it sent a distress signal. While the name of the tanker was not revealed at the time, the vessel was presumed to be the Riah.

    However, two days later, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps released footage showing the seizure of the ship with ‘Riah’ and “PANAMA” written on its hull, while accusing the vessel of smuggling fuel.

    Semi-official news agency Fars reported at the time that the Iranian Navy had towed the tanker to the shore upon receiving a distress signal and discovered a haul of petroleum products, allegedly smuggled from Iran, after boarding the ship.

    Despite airing the footage, Tehran has never acknowledged that the seized vessel was the Emirati-based Riah.

    Other murky circumstances in the story have still not been clarified. While it has been widely reported that the Riah made frequent trips between different emirates of the UAE, that country has distanced itself from the ship.

    "The tanker in question is neither UAE owned nor operated,” a UAE official told Emirates News Agency earlier this week.

    There is also uncertainty over whether the ship asked for help, with the same official saying it “did not emit a distress call.”

    At the moment, it’s still unclear who owns and operates the tanker. The Equasis maritime database shows the Riah’s last known owner as UAE-registered RIAH Shipping & Trading Inc., which appears to be based in Singapore.

    https://www.rt.com/news/464670-panama-withdraws-flag-tanker/
     
  8. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    An interesting insight by one man...


    My ruined holiday and why Iranians will never trust us Britons: Former Foreign Secretary JACK STRAW outlines the reason behind the tension

    In October 2015, my wife Alice and I were visiting Iran on holiday with friends. Rarely seen by Western tourists, the country offers both dramatic scenery and wonderful cultural sites. We’d hired an interpreter and a driver and by the sixth day of our trip had visited the busy capital Tehran and Yazd, a desert city in the south.

    Then, on our way to Shiraz, the heart of the country’s rich Persian culture, we stopped halfway to see a celebrated 4,000-year-old cypress tree, the Sarv-e Abarkuh.

    That’s when we met the Basij, the volunteer militia attached to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The black-clad young men were lying in wait for us, ready with a two-page petition.

    upload_2019-7-21_12-21-55.jpg

    Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, pictured yesterday at a service of thanksgiving for former Cabinet Secretary Lord Heywood, said Britain will never be trusted by the current Iranian regime

    ‘Although it is in our tradition as Iranians to welcome guests, this “welcome” gesture does not apply to you!’ it began. ‘The people of Iran do not have good memories about you and the British regime… ‘You know better than us about the crimes and the ample plots that were orchestrated by your country against the people of this land.’

    The document then set out in detail all the terrible things Britain had done to Iran, going back to the 1857 Treaty of Paris and the Anglo-Persian war.

    This encounter was the start of a sustained campaign to make our trip as difficult as possible. At one point, we feared we would be kidnapped.

    It turned out the men knew our itinerary from the IRGC, which had bugged our vehicle, intercepted our interpreter’s mobile phone and bribed our driver. They knew exactly who I was. So serious was the risk judged to be, in fact, that we were given police protection – not against criminals or terrorists, but against the Basij and other agencies of the Iranian state. In the end, the hardliners won and we felt obliged leave four days early.

    Yet I still have huge affection for the Iranian people. I’ve been back since and have now written a book about why Iran so distrusts the West and Britain in particular.

    According to Mr Straw, Iranians have good cause to be resentful against the ‘cunning, colonial fox’

    If we are to solve the current Gulf crisis in the Strait of Hormuz, then it is crucial to understand our shared history and why Iran today behaves as it does.

    The book is called The English Job, for example, because of a ubiquitous phrase in Persian – ‘it’s always an English job’ – which Iranians use when things go wrong.

    They have good cause to be resentful against the ‘cunning, colonial fox’, as they describe us. Iran never was a British colony but that didn’t stop us exploiting the country for treasure and power.

    At least our colonies got roads, sewers and railways. Quite the opposite was the case in Iran. Britain and Russia, after competing with each other for control of the country, eventually struck a deal which stopped all railway building right up until the 1920s.

    We bribed and cajoled Iran to do our will throughout the 19th Century and early part of the 20th Century and, if that didn’t work, we landed troops.

    Mr Straw has written a book as to why Iran distrusts Britain

    We invaded Iran in the First World War, helping cause a catastrophic famine in the process. In the Second World War, with the Russians, we jointly occupied the country for five years from 1941-6.

    We deposed a Shah in 1941 and installed his weaker, more compliant son.

    When the Iranian parliament waged an eight-year struggle to nationalise BP’s huge refinery and vast network of oil wells, MI6 and the CIA responded by organising a successful coup against the elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in August 1953.

    We helped prop up the Shah in the mid and late 1970s, even when it was obvious that he was losing popular support. Catastrophically so, in fact. In 1979, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown in a revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini and that, in turn, led directly to the start of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    But the worst was to come in 1980, when Iraq’s newly appointed president, Saddam Hussein, decided, without any justification, to invade Iran. Millions on both sides lost their lives in the bloody war that followed.

    The whole of the West – America, France, the UK and Russia – backed Iraq (with only Israel, improbably, supporting Iran). For eight years, Iran was effectively alone. It managed to avoid abject defeat, but this searing experience has defined everything that has happened since and shaped the attitude of those in power today.

    Iran’s Supreme Leader since 1989, Ali Khamenei, never ceases to preach that the West cannot be trusted. In 1980, he came close to being assassinated by a renegade Iranian terrorist group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq – once supported by Saddam and now by John Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser – and lost the use of his right arm.

    The single most powerful military figure in Iran is Major-General Qasem Soleimani, the man behind the Revolutionary Guards’ seizure of the British-flagged tanker. His world view, too, was forged in the crucible of the war with Saddam.

    It’s Khamenei and Soleimani who now call the shots, both literally and figuratively. Iran, in their view, is fighting for its very survival.

    Bolton calculates that by strangling Iran through sanctions, the Islamic revolutionary regime will collapse and the government, led by President Rouhani, will come begging for a deal.


    This approach won’t work. It is based upon a complete misunderstanding of the Iranian psyche. Already, American pressure has strengthened hardliners such as Khamenei and Soleimani and has weakened moderates like Rouhani. An often discontented population has been unified. After two centuries of humiliation, what Iran seeks above all is respect and recognition.


    As I know, having been involved for three years in negotiating the first phase of nuclear talks with Iran (2003-6), if Iran is shown that respect, a deal is possible.

    Without that, the cat and mouse game in the Gulf and continued instability in the wider Middle East will continue.

    We may not like the way Iran is behaving but comprehending why they do so could prove critical.
     
  9. rkec

    rkec Member

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    As I understand it, the ownership of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 is somewhat confused. Nobody is coming forth to claim it either. What a bizarre world the shipping industry is when nobody really knows who owns a £100m piece of equipment.
     
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  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    When you look at it a British registered & flagged vessel could actually be owned by any random country, crewed by any nationality and the chartered by any nation to carry the cargo from A to B.

    A to B may well be third or fourth party countries, onward-moving or actually buying and selling the goods being carried, but not necessarily the country of registration, the nation of the crew, the charting company or the owner of the vessel, or indeed the buyer or seller of the goods being carried etc.

    It gets quite complex identifying who actually owns what.

    Just to complicate matters - Syria is an oil producing country and a quarter of it's GDP is raised through oil revenues. Half of the oil produced in Syria, funny old thing, was extracted and processed by the Anglo-Dutch giant, Shell until the civil war.

    Odd then, that the UK seized an Iranian tanker allegedly shipping oil to Syria.
     
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  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Screenshot_20190721_155421.jpg
    The other thing odd about the sanctions busting Iranian tanker impounded whilst enroute to Syria....if true, it must have sailed around Cape of Good Hope, via the whole of the African continent to sail past Gibraltar.

    Logically, it would normally have sailed up the Red Sea and through the Suez Canal - nowhere near Gib.
     
  12. ave!

    ave! Royal Marines Commando

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    I find it amusing how we are now looking to “international partners” for help.

    Thanks to the post afghan cut fest the country has once again been made to look fools on the international stage. The Iranian revolutionary guard with their Cold War helicopter and sniper tape machine gun speedboats have been able to take a british affiliated oil tanker. Now , I’m sure the navy has a job to protect british interests abroad and I know that the lads out there are digging out blind but culpability has to be applied somewhere.

    Let’s hope the french and Germans arbt too annoyed about brexit because trump is annoyed about a comment from an ambassador which was highly likely to have been leaked from our side.

    Once again , Britain has its pants down.

    Also , bonus points to anyone who spotted the Iranian “sf” with del trotter ski masks on.
     
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  13. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Some of a certain age might recall Keystone Cops on TV. :)

    Sadly the UK and US governments choose not to share all their intelligence resources with me—their loss not mine—but I'm astonished that the Iranian regime, crippled by chronic economic sanctions, apparently managed to deploy more than one pedalo and a 1960's gyrocopter.

    My speculation is that it was Olympic class blagging which bullied the Stena Impero to alter course into Iranian territory.
     
  14. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    iran_2096777b.jpg

    Nice firepower for a small craft.
     
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  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    It is. Even back in the 1980's the RN quickly realised a boghammer (fast attack craft) could deliver a hell of a punch at minimal cost, a tiny crew, virtually invisible to guided missile radar & were too fast to be caught by anything other than a RM sniper in a helicopter armed with a .50" cal.
     
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  16. rkec

    rkec Member

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    I wonder if they had security fears of sailing it past Yemen?
     
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  17. News

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    Most ships sail under a flag that differs from that of their owner.

    Continue reading...
     
  18. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Oman's top diplomat in Iran for talks amid mounting Gulf tensions

    Yusuf bin Alawi and Jawad Zarif to discuss bilateral relations and latest developments in region, Iran state TV says.

    4 hours ago
    • upload_2019-7-27_16-55-50.jpg

      The two foreign ministers were expected to discuss regional developments including the issue of the seized tankers [Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA via Reuters]


      The foreign minister of Oman has arrived in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials, in a visit that comes amid mounting tensions in the Gulf between the United States and Iran.

      Iran's state television said on Saturday that Yusuf bin Alawi would meet his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and other officials to discuss the latest developments in the region.

      "The visit was conducted in the framework of bilateral relations and continuous consultations of the two countries with the aim of exchanging views on recent regional developments, bilateral relations ... and international issues," it added.

      Friction has been rising since Washington unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and reimposed punishing sanctions on Tehran.

      Oman maintains friendly ties with both the US and Iran and has previously been a go-between for the two countries, which severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Iranian revolution. It was also the country where Iran and the US held secret talks that eventually led to the brokering and signing of the landmark nuclear deal four years ago.

      Washington and Tehran are in a protracted standoff over Iran's nuclear and missile programmes, and tensions have flared after Iran downed a US drone over the Gulf and the US said it brought down at least one Iranian drone, which Tehran denied.

      Oil tankers

      In a statement on Sunday, the Omani foreign ministry urged Iran to release the British-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker, which Tehran captured in the Strait of Hormuz in a move that came nearly two weeks after London seized an Iranian-flagged tanker off Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain's southern coast.

      Reporting from Tehran, Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi said the oil tankers were expected to be on the agenda of the talks between the Iranian and Omani foreign ministers.

      "They'll be discussing ways of trying to de-escalate and resolve the issue," Basravi said.

      The Omani official's visit comes as the UK announced it would send a military escort along with commercial ships to protect them during their naval passage through the waterways of the Strait of Hormuz.

      "Iran is expected to give the Omani foreign minister a very warm welcome, but they'll also be keen to demonstrate to their ally that they will continue to put on a very strong front when it comes with dealing with pressure from the US and UK," Basravi said.

      Last week, in a letter to the United Nations Security Council, Britain said the tanker was approached by Iranian forces in Omani territorial waters where it was exercising its lawful right of passage, and that the action "constitutes illegal interference".

      In its statement on Sunday, the Omani foreign ministry did not comment on the ship's position but called on Iran and Britain to use diplomacy to resolve the situation.

      SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

     
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  19. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    All part of understanding the bigger picture......


    Crisis talks on Iran nuclear deal set to kick off in Vienna

    Envoys from Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran set to hold talks on salvaging nuclear deal.

    an hour ago
    • upload_2019-7-28_10-36-1.jpg

      The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna [Lisi Niesner/ Reuters]


      The remaining signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are set to meet in Austria's capital, Vienna, to renew discussions aimed at salvaging the accord in the wake of United States' unilateral exit last year.

      Envoys from Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran will take part in Sunday's extraordinary gathering, the European Union's foreign policy service said.

      The meeting will "examine issues linked to the implementation of the JCPOA in all its aspects," the EU said, referring to the nuclear deal by its formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

      The landmark agreement, which offered Iran relief from global sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme, is in danger of unraveling following Washington's move in May 2018.

      The administration of US President Donald Trump has since reimposed punishing sanctions against Tehran, plunging its economy into recession and bringing hardship to ordinary Iranians.

      Enriching uranium

      The pact's remaining signatories oppose Washington's move but have struggled to protect trade with Iran.

      In May, Iran said it would disregard certain limits the deal set on its nuclear programme. After surpassing a cap on stockpiles of enriched uranium, Iran's atomic agency earlier this month said it has also started to enrich uranium to a higher grade than the 3.67 percent set in the JCPOA.

      Iran then threatened to take further measures if the remaining parties to the deal, especially European nations, did not help it circumvent the US sanctions, particularly the imposed restrictions on its ability to export oil.

      Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said all of Tehran's moves were "reversible" within hours if the remaining signatories upheld their commitments.

      France, Britian and Germany have set up a special trade channel, known as INSTEX, to help EU members trade with Iran. But Iranian officials say the mechanism does not meet Iran's needs as it does not facilitate oil exports.

      Gulf tensions

      The US and Iran, meanwhile, came to the brink of a major military confrontation in June after Iranian forces shot down an unmanned US drone. Trump said he called of retaliatory air raids at the last moment because the resulting death toll would have been too high.

      Weeks later, on July 18, Trump said a US warship "destroyed" an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a claim Tehran has dismissed.

      Separately, the US and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran for multiple suspected attacks on tankers in the Gulf, which Tehran denies.

      Frictions between Iran and Britain are also high, after Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps seized a British-flagged tanker with its 23 crew onboard in the Strait of Hormuz.

      The move on July 19 came some two weeks after British authorities impounded an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, citing alleged violations of sanctions on Syria.

      On Saturday, Zarif hosted in Tehran his counterpart for Oman, which maintains warm ties with both the Iran and the US and has previously been a go-between for the two countries that severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Iranian revolution.

      SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies