Tag Archives: Persian

Iran and U.S. Navy SEALs Are Ready to Battle in the Persian Gulf

Iran and U.S. Navy SEALs Are Ready to Battle in the Persian GulfThis happened once before.



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Iranian forces have been harassing this British warship almost daily in the Persian Gulf

Iranian forces have been harassing this British warship almost daily in the Persian GulfThe Royal Navy frigate has reportedly had 115 run-ins with Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf since the start of July, and it's not backing down.



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Iran seizes third tanker and seven sailors in Persian Gulf

Iran seizes third tanker and seven sailors in Persian GulfIran yesterday said it had captured an oil tanker and seven sailors it accused of “smuggling” fuel through the Persian Gulf to Arab states – the third such seizure in recent months.   Iranian state television reported that the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp detained the tanker, its crew and 700,000 litres of fuel on Wednesday. "The seizure of the oil tanker was in coordination with Iran's judiciary authorities and based on their order. It was taken to the Bushehr port, where its fuel was handed over to the authorities,” said Guards commander Ramezan Zirahi.  The incident marks the latest instalment in a series of actions designed to broadcast power and strength to the West.  Tensions in the Persian Gulf have been high since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year, cutting the prized economic lifeline Tehran was offered in exchange for curtailing its nuclear programme. Since then, Iran has struggled to fight back against a combination of sanctions and diplomatic isolation, and to curtail rampant fuel smuggling, by sea and land, to neighbouring countries including Arab rivals. Entreaties to European signatories to the nuclear deal to pressure the US to back down have thus far fallen short, leaving Tehran looking to its nuclear programme and the Strait of Hormuz for sticks where carrots have failed. The IRGC captured the Panama-flagged Riah last month, accusing it of smuggling cheap, state-subsidized Iranian fuel. That incident followed the tit-for-tat detention of British tanker Stena Impero earlier in July, two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar accused of violating sanctions on Syria. British authorities say the Iranian seizure was illegal and have ruled out a swap of the two vessels. Twenty percent of global oil consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and Iran has threatened to block all exports if the international community bow to US calls to stop buying Iranian oil. In recent days, the Washington-Tehran confrontation has reached new heights, with the US announcing sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif, a key architect of the scrapped nuclear deal.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the sanctions “childish”. On Saturday, Mr Zarif said Iran would soon take “the third step” in reducing its commitments made under the deal.



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US pressures Germany to send warships to Persian Gulf

US pressures Germany to send warships to Persian GulfThe US stepped up diplomatic pressure on Germany to send warships to the Persian Gulf on Tuesday as the Western allies remained deeply divided over how to respond to the Iranian threat to oil tankers.  Germany has so far been reluctant to contribute to any naval mission in the Middle East and the US embassy took the unusual step of publicly challenging Berlin to make a commitment.  "Members of the German government have been clear that freedom of navigation should be protected,” the US embassy said in a statement. “Our question is, protected by whom?”   The US statement said that both the UK and France had committed to sending warships to “secure the Strait of Hormuz and combat Iranian aggression”. In reality, there is still no agreement on any joint mission in the Strait of Hormuz.  France has refused to join any US mission out of concern it would associate Paris with Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” against Iran. Britain is caught in the middle, calling for a European-led initiative but saying it will need American military support to succeed.   Caricatures at Iran's "Pirates of the Queen" exhibit mocks the UK over its seized tanker Credit: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images Germany appeared unmoved by the US pressure and refused to commit to sending naval assets. "The German government has taken note of this, but not promised to make any contribution,” a German official said.  Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised Germany for not spending more on defence and German politicians have called for the expulsion of his ambassador in Berlin for appearing to interfere in the country’s domestic politics.   Overseas military deployments are a sensitive subject in Germany, where the post-war constitution places constraints on using the armed forces for anything other than strictly defensive operations.  Meanwhile, hardliners in Iran continued to revel in the seizure of the British-flagged Stena Impero tanker with the launch of a cartoon exhibition mocking the UK’s inability to recover its ship.  The “Pirates of the Queen” exhibit features more than a dozen cartoons. Some mock the Queen personally while others portray the UK as a fox – a reference to the Persian term “the Old Fox”, which is often used by Iranians to to describe Britain.  A cultural centre affiliated to the IRGC has launched a cartoon expo in Tehran where artists display their work celebrating Iran's seizure of the British-flagged tanker StenaImpero. The UK is referred to as the "Old Fox" by the Islamic Republic to signify "British cunning". pic.twitter.com/cOEYtQWdvn— Kian Sharifi (@KianSharifi) July 29, 2019 The captain of an Iranian tanker seized in Gibraltar accused Britain of using unnecessary “brute force” when Royal Marines took the ship. He said the marines pointed guns at his unarmed crew and forced them to kneel on the deck.  “They just pointed the gun and they started shouting look forward, look forward,” the captain, an Indian national who spoke anonymously to the BBC. “I was totally shocked I didn’t know what to feel because they didn’t give me a chance to talk.” Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, appealed to Mr Trump to ignore the advice of his hawkish advisers and seek a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran.  “Diplomacy = prudence; never weakness,” Mr Zarif said on Twitter.  Mr Trump has occasionally expressed interest in negotiations with Iran and reportedly tapped a Republican senator to be his envoy. But he has also said he does not believe Iran is ready to negotiate and has shown no sign he is prepared to ease crippling US sanctions on Iran.



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Iran seizes foreign oil tanker in Persian Gulf, 12 on vessel, state media reports

Iran seizes foreign oil tanker in Persian Gulf, 12 on vessel, state media reportsTwelve crews members were on the Panamanian-flagged vessel when it was captured near the Strait of Hormuz.



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Indian warships to stay longer in Persian Gulf, but won't join U.S. coalition

Indian warships to stay longer in Persian Gulf, but won't join U.S. coalitionIndian warships escorting merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf will remain deployed for the longer term, officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, as tensions between Iran and Western powers rise. Since June following attacks on tankers that the United States blamed on Iran and Iran-aligned fighters, a charged Tehran denies, the Indian navy ships have been escorting Indian-flagged vessels in and out of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.



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Iran Loves This: The Royal Navy Doesn’t Have Enough Ships to Patrol Persian Gulf

Iran Loves This: The Royal Navy Doesn’t Have Enough Ships to Patrol Persian GulfThe Royal Navy plans briefly to double its number of warships in the Persian Gulf following an attempted attack by Iranian forces on a British oil tanker on June 20, 2019.But the temporary increase in British warships in the region, from one to two, underscores just how few ships the Royal Navy can deploy even in an emergency.Iranian boats tried to “impede” the British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, the BBC reported. HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, “was forced to move between the three boats and the tanker,” according to the BBC.The British government claimed the attacking boats belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps militia. The IRGC also allegedly was behind several recent bomb attacks targeting oil tankers in the Gulf and surrounding waters.Tensions have escalated in the Middle East following U.S. president Donald Trump decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program. After Trump restored economic sanctions, Tehran resumed stockpiling uranium.The July 2019 tanker incident compelled the Royal Navy to accelerate by several weeks a planned deployment to the Gulf by the Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan. Montrose and Duncan together will patrol the Persian Gulf before Montrose returns to U.K. waters for maintenance.Duncan sailed south through the Bosphorus on July 13, 2019. The destroyer had been in the Black Sea region for NATO exercises.



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Iranian ships tried to block British oil tanker in Persian Gulf

Iranian ships tried to block British oil tanker in Persian GulfIranian ships attempted to obstruct a British-flagged commercial oil tanker as it sailed in the Persian Gulf, Britain's Defense Ministry said.



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Key events raising tensions in the Persian Gulf

Key events raising tensions in the Persian GulfIran announced Sunday it will raise its enrichment of uranium, breaking another limit of its faltering 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and further heightening tensions between Tehran and the U.S. Iran made the decision a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal. Iran has repeatedly warned Europe in recent weeks that it would begin walking away from an accord neutered by a maximalist American campaign of sanctions that blocked Tehran’s oil sales abroad and targeted its top officials.



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Key events raising tensions in the Persian Gulf

Key events raising tensions in the Persian GulfTensions between the United States and Iran have soared in recent weeks, with Washington dispatching warships and bombers around the Persian Gulf, and Tehran threatening to resume higher uranium enrichment. The tensions come a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers and restored crippling sanctions. May 5: John Bolton, the White House national security adviser and a longtime Iran hawk, announces the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” without providing details.



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