Thursday 23rd of September 2021

bolton flags a few false moustache-events to create war...


Earlier this month, two Saudi oil tankers and two other vessels were targeted by acts of sabotage in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) exclusive economic zone. US officials told media that Iran was responsible for the blasts without providing any evidence and despite the fact that both Saudi Arabia and the UAE haven't accused Tehran of the incident.

According to Bolton, the tankers which witnessed explosions two weeks ago off the coast of Fujairah, UAE were damaged by "naval mines almost certainly from Iran".

Previously, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought the same charges, claiming that Tehran might be behind the incident. The Islamic Republic, however, repeatedly denied the allegations, stressing that the attacks must be investigated in order to preserve stability in the region.

READ MORE: Iran's Revolutionary Guards 'Doesn't Fear a War' as US Makes Military Moves

The news comes as Washington has stepped up the US military presence near Iran's borders, deploying an aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters to the Middle East.


Addressing the move, Bolton has called it a "clear and unmistakable message" to Tehran amid the partial suspension of the nuclear deal by Iranian authorities.

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Picture at top by Gus Leonisky

joined at the hip...

British media have reported that small teams of Britain’s elite commandoes are being deployed on UK-registered oil tankers in the Persian Gulf by way of protecting these vessels.

There's something fishy about the reports, if they are indeed accurate and not some form of British intelligence disinformation.

We are told by The Sun that two Special Boat Service (SBS) squads have been flown to the Middle East in order to deploy on commercial ships entering the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz. The SBS is a naval counterpart of Britain's elite paratrooper SAS regiment. They are both trained to work in top-secret missions.

The reported deployment of these elite British forces comes at a time of escalating tensions in the Gulf between the United States and Iran. US allies Saudi Arabia and the other oil-exporting monarchy, the United Arab Emirates, are calling for stepped up defenses to counter alleged aggression from Iran.


Last week, four oil tankers were apparently sabotaged near the UAE port of Fujairah. There have also been reports of drone attacks on Saudi oil pumping stations from Houthi rebels based in Yemen. The finger of suspicion has been pointed at Iran for being behind these acts of sabotage, even though Tehran vehemently denied any involvement and has in fact warned of "malicious conspiracies" to incite a war.

US politicians have lately ramped up the hostile rhetoric against Iran. President Donald Trump raged at the weekend that if "Iran threatens the US" it would be the "official end" of the Islamic Republic. War hawks like Republican Senator Tom Cotton told Fox News that if a war was to erupt the US should defeat Iran with just two strikes, "the first one and the last one". Another hawkish voice, that of Senator Lindsey Graham, called for the US to use "overwhelming force" if American interests are harmed.

READ MORE: UK Warns Iran of US Retaliation if Washington's Interests 'Attacked'

The unhinged hyperbole out of Washington of inflicting mass destruction against Iran sounds ominous. It is also criminally reckless aggression which violates international law and the UN Charter. 

That's why the international public must be acutely vigilant of "false flag" attacks being staged, aimed at giving the impression that Iran is targeting the vital interests of the US or its allies. Iran has repeatedly said that it has no interest in going to war with the US. It is not in Iranian interests to plunge their country into catastrophic conflict, although Tehran has warned that if it is attacked it will respond with formidable defenses, as well as shutting down the global oil economy by blocking the narrow Strait of Hormuz.


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a fight against iranian forces and their agents...

The US State Department unveiled an investment plan to "support local governance and civil society in Syria". Among the goals put forward, Washington announces a fight against the Iranian forces and their agents.

In a document published May 24 on the site listing loans granted by the US government, Washington announced an investment plan in Syria, including "a fight against Iranian forces and their agents." In fact, the document describes Washington's desire to "fight extremism and misinformation perpetrated by Iranian forces".

The US State Department intends to give $ 75 million to an eligible NGO under this initiative whose stated objective is "to support local governance and civil society in Syria". In its loan offer, Washington states that successful candidates will have to "advance the objectives of US government policy in Syria". In addition, Washington's call for proposals does not require candidates to obtain authorization from the Syrian government.

Earlier this year, congratulating himself for defeating Daesh, Donald Trump said he did not worry about the role that could be played by Iran in Syria after the withdrawal of US troops.


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peace with russia: an imperative for the world...


Difficulties in overcoming prejudices


Interview with Piotr O. Tolstoy, * Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation


hd. In our Issue No. 9 of March 15, 2019, we presented a report of the Conference entitled "Never Forget: Fostering Peace and Prosperity Instead of War and Poverty" in Belgrade. Piotr O. Tolstoy was one of the speakers and a member of the important Russian delegation. "Horizons and Debates" spoke with him on the sidelines of this Conference.


Horizons and debates: What was your personal situation at the time of the beginning of the NATO war of aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?


Piotr Olegovich Tolstoy: Twenty years ago I worked as a journalist on Russian Television. When the shelling started, I was in direct contact with Belgrade every day. I remember very well, for example, that I was with my friend journalist Evgeny Baranov - also present at this congress - him in Belgrade and me at the Moscow studio when the bombs fell on the Serbian Television building.


Suddenly, we lost the sound, the line was interrupted.


For me, this was a serious professional challenge, because at that time in Russian Television, we worked without a reserve program. I had thirty minutes of broadcast in front of me, I lost the sound and the link with Belgrade and, as a TV presenter, it was necessary to fill this half hour, live.


Finally, we discussed the situation and especially the consequences of this NATO attack on Russia and on international politics with various Russian guests, who are also present today at the Congress.


It was a very clear lesson for the whole country and for most Russian citizens.


This attack strongly transformed their point of view of the West, before and after the aggression against Yugoslavia.


This was the first breach of trust between Russia and the West.


In the first place, I am convinced that no humanitarian reason, no reason for the protection of human rights, no reason for protecting interethnic conflicts can justify military intervention - to avoid the word aggression - in the sovereign affairs of a country. In our international politics, we start from this principle.


I can tell you that the vast majority of parliamentarians - of our colleagues present in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU, a UN body) - voted in favor of a resolution proposed by Russia, that it must be impossible to interfere in this way in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.


If we insist on this point, it is not because of the risk of intervention against us. Indeed, thanks to the legacy of the USSR, Russia is not subject to this threat, fortunately, she has the nuclear weapon.


But we have all seen the transformations that have taken place in many European countries - but also in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - where democracy has not finally won. When such interventions are launched, we always advance good principles that we also support: freedom, human rights, democracy, etc.


Is there democracy today in Afghanistan, in Libya or in all the other countries under attack?


In my opinion, this is what prompted President Vladimir Putin's decision to accept Bashar al-Assad's request to join Syria. This is not because a [so-called] dictator Putin wants to support a [so-called] dictator Assad. Not at all.


This is because Russia wanted to support the state structure on the territory of Syria. Because bursting it would have consequences much worse than today in Libya.


The essential - regardless of the fate of Assad - was to preserve state structures, to counter international terrorism.


And besides, I believe that in Europe we do not realize that, thanks to that, today, we can not find any more videos showing how we cut the head to people in orange clothes on YouTube. These people were eliminated from the Syrian territory by the Russians, the Iranians, Hezbollah.


This does not please the coalition of sixty Western countries that have started doing this in Iraq. But no matter, I'm sure it was the right decision for Syria and for the world, because that's the way we can get out of such crises.


Syria is the first country where we managed to stop terrorists ...


... to push back, we can not say stop, because they went to Africa, they are everywhere. But even so, we managed to limit their activities.


I emphasize that the Russians went to Syria following the request of the Syrian government. No matter what is thought of Assad and his government, it is the government recognized by the international community represented at the United Nations that has officially asked Russia to support it. Russian forces did not come in the same way as NATO planes, which left their base in Aviano, Italy, to dump bombs in the name of democracy on Serbia.


Should we still explain that today?

Yes. I underline all this because, in the public opinion and the Western press, we convey unrealistic clichés on the situation in Syria and Ukraine in relation to Russia, on gas, on several subjects ... This irresponsible diffusion of clichés a little idiots distorts public opinion in an important way.


Following this, we must begin to explain the realities to people from scratch.


I often speak with members of several European Parliaments. My Dutch colleagues, for example, did not know that Ukraine was part of Russia. They believed that she had always been independent and that Russia had annexed part of it. They did not know that there are twenty million Russians in the territory of Ukraine.


They did not know anything about the story. When I started to explain to them point by point, they were very surprised and said: but then, that changes everything!


As Swiss participants from a non-NATO country, we would like to know what your relations are with Switzerland?


We have very good relations with Switzerland. During a breakfast, I met Yves Rossier, the Swiss ambassador in Moscow. Switzerland is still trying to play the role of intermediary between the West and Russia.


Also concerning the sanctions?

Yes. But politically, I can tell you that despite the reciprocal visits I have attended - from the presidency of the Swiss Parliament in Moscow to the presidency of the Russian Parliament in Switzerland - we do not have, at present, interparliamentary work between the two Parliaments. The cause is the sanctions against Russia and the political prudence of our Swiss colleagues. But we understand them well.


The attempts of the Swiss to keep the status of neutrality are interesting. Historically, Switzerland has been a country that has often been the scene of difficult negotiations, where fundamental agreements on international security have been signed.


Currently, we have concerns about the US withdrawal from the intermediate-range missile treaty.


Since the withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, security in Europe has deteriorated significantly. And unfortunately, NATO military bases are now near the Russian border in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and soon in the Baltic countries. The flight time of a missile sent from Romania to Moscow is ten minutes. With this enlargement of NATO to the east, we feel a little crowded.


What do you think we can do to improve this situation?

It's very difficult. We must be able to correct, to overcome the clichés in public opinion, we must reset everything, we must put ourselves at the negotiating table. It is sometimes said that the Treaty of Yalta must be renewed. But before Yalta, there was war. We would like to avoid war, avoid military conflicts. It is the most important.


Returning to the bargaining table is by far the best solution.


We are ready! We are open to that. Russia emphasizes that, Putin says at every opportunity, the Foreign Minister and I, as a member of the Presidency of the Parliament, underline it at all our meetings at the international level.


We are, for example, in dialogue at the parliamentary level with Americans who like to meet Russian delegations to the OSCE in Vienna. We are discussing a lot of things, but the problem is to overcome this wave of stereotypes that we see today in many media, in international politics and also in many politicians.


So we hope that sooner or later it will change, otherwise the military conflict is inevitable. And we do not want that to happen.


Germany plays a leading role in the conflict between NATO and Russia. How do you see German-Russian relations?


We have very good relations with Germany. It is our number one economic partner in Europe. We are working together on a very important project for all of Europe, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is also described by some as a political weapon. We are told that it is the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in the field of gas, or other similar mischief. In my opinion, this gas pipeline makes the German economy more competitive because our gas is 40% cheaper than US liquefied gas.


So, for now, I hope that Russian gas will have a long-term positive effect for the economy of all Europe.


What is the role of direct contacts between citizens of our two countries, for example in the form of town twinnings, in the face of the aforementioned difficulties of understanding?

We assume that the more contacts there are, the better. At the 2018 World Football Championship, hundreds of thousands of people came to Russia. They realized that this is not a country in which we only find bears and balalaikas, stereotypes often broadcast. It was very effective. We are therefore open to all exchanges possible and imaginable and, naturally, to all exchanges between cities too.


We are developing a project for electronic visas that can be ordered by the home computer. Russia is open to all exchanges.


The problem is precisely that there are some differences between reality and the stereotypes circulating in public opinion. People think that our country is very far away and when we tell them that Moscow is three hours flight from Geneva, they have a hard time believing it.


So we'll see. We always invite everyone. Come see how we live. We have a lot of problems inside the country, we are aware of that. It's a huge country. But let us not add to the market international tensions at the level of international politics. I hope that sooner or later the situation will improve - in favor of exchanges on an equal footing.


Dear Sir, we thank you for this interview.

* Piotr Olegovich Tolstoy is a journalist. He was a former anchorman of the 1st Russian TV channel and since 2014 a member of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament (Duma). Since 2016, he is one of the Vice-Presidents of the Duma. He is a member of the government party "United Russia". He is also a member of the Social Chamber of the Russian Federation, whose mission is, inter alia, to publicize the interests of citizens and societal associations in state organizations. In 1999, during the NATO bombings in Serbia, he was a presenter on Russian state television and daily informed about the situation and the effects of the war. In addition, Piotr Tolstoy is the great-great-grandson of the writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910).


1 Yevgeny Primakov, President of the Government of the Russian Federation, orders on 24 March 1999, in full flight, to the pilot-in-command of his plane to travel to the United States to pay an official visit to Washington, to return immediately to Moscow in protest, when the first NATO bombs hit Belgrade (ed)



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the collective versus donald's privates...

trump is a psychopath like all his predecessors...



From my distant vantage point in New England, tracking the daily fluctuations of the ongoing Iran war scare poses a challenge. It’s that old problem of distinguishing between signals and noise. These days there is noise aplenty emanating from Washington. That the prospect of yet another Gulf war competes for bandwidth with intensifying efforts to impeach President Trump makes it more difficult still to know what exactly is going on. 

My bet is that an actual shooting war involving the United States and the Islamic Republic will not occur. Granted, we cannot exclude the possibility of inadvertent hostilities caused by one side misreading the intentions or actions of the other side. Nor should we ignore the possibility of bellicose subordinates exceeding their briefs and stumbling into a fight that authorities at the top may not have authorized. Posturing invites misunderstanding and miscalculation—and there has been more than a little posturing coming from both Washington and Tehran. 

Yet even if armed conflict is averted, the Iran War Scare of 2019 will deserve recognition as a moment of genuine strategic significance. With the current dustup involving Iran, the likelihood of President Trump ending the “forever wars” is now gone for good.

Only rarely have I agreed with Trump on anything. His frequent and apparently sincere denunciations of our various wars in the Greater Middle East stand as the principal exception to that statement. As both candidate and president, Trump has repeatedly made clear his intention to extricate the United States from the vast military quagmire that his several predecessors, both Republicans and Democrats, have created in that region.

Consistency has not been a strong suit of Trump’s administration. Yet terminating our interminable wars while lowering the U.S. military profile in the Islamic world does seem to be something to which the president is actually committed.

Yet the national security apparatus and members of his own administration have opposed him every step of the way. Trump wanted U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. They are still there. He wanted U.S. troops out of Syria. They are still there. So, too, are 5,000 more in neighboring Iraq—more than 16 years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. 

The nominal rationale for the U.S. military presence and combat actions in the Greater Middle East changes with dizzying frequency. It once had something to do with overthrowing dictators, spreading democracy, and promoting human rights. Then, for a time, the mission was to eliminate terrorism. Somewhere along the line, it changed to promoting stability. Now, the focus has shifted to Iran, assigned a place in the pecking order of official U.S. adversaries that once belonged to Saddam, then to al-Qaeda, and then to ISIS. 

We don’t have a strategy in the Greater Middle East. We merely have a variable roster of enemies.


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Trump is a psychopath like all his predecessors... He will say one thing and do the opposite with brio. Nothing new. Sometimes his predecessors hid their intent and packaged ill intent with deception — like George W Bush. Obama was the master of bullshit "yes we can" but never did and bombed countries to smithereens, under the hypocritical watch of La madam Clinton's brothel — the DNC.

psychopath playbook

The elevation of Patrick Shanahan to the secretary of defense position will likely make National Security Adviser John Bolton the most powerful voice inside President Donald Trump’s cabinet.

So say defense analysts who spoke to TAC this week. Former U.S. officials also said they fear that Shanahan’s relative lack of experience may set America on a path to war, and cited a New York Times report that Shanahan had delivered to Bolton a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East. Subsequent reports indicate that the Pentagon might be making plans to send even more.  

Shanahan is expected to be nominated for the top Pentagon slot, subject to Senate confirmation. And according to Stephen Wertheim, assistant professor of history at Columbia University, during the confirmation hearings, “when senators think Shanahan, they should think Bolton. Because a vacuum at the top of DoD means that the department becomes a rubber stamp for Bolton.”

Bolton is an unapologetic Bush-era war hawk with four decades of experience inside the Beltway. Throughout his long career, he’s advocated for regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran. As national security adviser, he appears determined to consolidate his power in the Cabinet, usurping powers that traditionally reside with the military.


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dangerous clowns... in looking for trouble: a dangerous pair of nuts attached to a dick with small hands...


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the choice of left or right psychos...

David Brooks says that the Republican Party is headed off a cliff. He points out statistics showing that Millennials and Generation Z are very, very alienated from conservatism and the GOP. Excerpt:

These days the Republican Party looks like a direct reaction against this ethos — against immigration, against diversity, against pluralism. Moreover, conservative thought seems to be getting less relevant to the America that is coming into being.

Matthew Continetti recently identified the key blocs on the new right in an essay in The Washington Free Beacon. These included the Jacksonians (pugilistic populists), the Paleos (Tucker Carlson-style economic nationalists), the Post-Liberals (people who oppose pluralism and seek a return to pre-Enlightenment orthodoxy). To most young adults, these tendencies will look like cloud cuckooland.

The most burning question for conservatives should be: What do we have to say to young adults and about the diverse world they are living in? Instead, conservative intellectuals seem hellbent on taking their 12 percent share among the young and turning it to 3.

Well, Continetti identified me with the Post-Liberal bloc because of the Benedict Option, though it’s kind of a catch-all category for people who doubt the liberal project. I don’t oppose pluralism; I see it as a social fact. I support immigration restrictions now, not because I oppose pluralism, but because we are in a cultural period in which figuring out how to stop, even reverse, social fragmentation is one of the most important political challenges facing the nation — and maintaining or increasing immigration is only going to make that worse.

It is true that the GOP, and the conservative movement more generally, has massive problems figuring out how to pass on its politics to the younger generations. The Millennials and Generation Z are much to the left of Gen Xers and Boomers — and are starting to vote in big numbers. I wonder, though, just how successful the Democratic Party, and the Left in general, is going to be once the Social Justice Warriors are in charge. The militant illiberalism, misandry, and racism of the emergent Left is going to send a lot of people over to the Right. When liberal intellectual Mark Lilla wrote a book saying that the Democratic Party — his party — needs to get away from identity politics and find a way to reach the white working class that broke for Trump, he was denounced as a white supremacist.

It’s true that the demographic shift, and the ethnic diversification of America, benefits the Democratic Party, but it is doubtful that white males will have a future in that party unless they are prepared to accept conditions of woke dhimmitude. The radical, identity-politics egalitarianism that began on campuses and has now spread more generally through the media and the culture of the Left fragments people along racial, gender, and sexual lines, and sets them at each other’s throats, in a way that the economic solidarity proposed by, say, a Mark Lilla would not. But then, he’s “making white supremacy respectable again.”

If any disillusioned Millennials or Gen Zers make their way to the right, what kind of Right will they find? I don’t understand what David would have the Right do, except be not-crazy leftists. Better a sane leftist than an ideological monster! But we need an actual Right-wing party in this country, though it must be conceded that simple demographic and ideological reality will push the GOP further to the Left in some ways, for the same reason Reaganism ended up pushing the Democrats out of their New Deal-Great Society paradigm, into Clintonism.


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The only choice now for the future of the planet is "Socialist Green"... Hopefully with less self-serving rubbish at the top.



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by Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman ( - Home - Stephen Lendman)

Will US war on humanity include Iran on its target list, a nation able to hit back hard if attacked? 

Given the rage of hardliners infesting Washington for dominance over other nations, what's unthinkable and unlikely is possible.

Throughout the Islamic Republic's history since its 1979 revolution, ending a generation of US-installed fascist dictatorship, its ruling authorities never attacked another country.

They threaten none now, just the opposite. Iran is the region's leading proponent of peace and stability, seeking cooperative relations with other countries.

So why has the US been hellbent to topple its government since Jimmy Carter was president - more than ever since Trump took office?

Anti-Iran rage is all about its sovereign independence, opposition to Washington's imperial agenda featuring endless wars of aggression, along with support for fundamental Palestinian rights, free from occupation harshness.

It has nothing to do with an Iranian threat that doesn't exist, not now or earlier. Yet hostile rhetoric by US officials pretends otherwise - Big Lies drowning out vital truths.

John Bolton is pathologically hostile to Iran, carpet-bombing its ruling authorities with false accusations, including a bald-faced Big Lie that it's seeking to develop nuclear weapons - contradicting IAEA monitors affirming its compliance with JCPOA provisions.

Bolton repeatedly threatens Iran with tough talk, laced with Big Lies. On Monday, Mike Pompeo raised the nonexistent issue of Iran developing a nuclear weapon while ignoring nuclear armed and dangerous Israel, the only regional nation with a nuke arsenal and readiness to use it if threatened.

Pompeo lied claiming the Trump regime withdrew from the JCPOA "because it presented a clear pathway for Iran to continue to develop its nuclear (weapons) program."

It does nothing of the sort. The Trump regime's withdrawal was in deference to Israel, as well as fostering hostility toward the Islamic Republic for reasons cited about - what its illegal sanctions war and related actions are all about, seeking regime change, wanting US control regained over the country, its resources and population.

Pompeo suggesting that Iran is in breach of the JCPOA is a bald-faced Big Lie. So is claiming the Trump regime is concerned about its "breakout time" toward developing a nuclear weapon it long ago said it wants nothing to do with, no evidence suggesting otherwise.

State Department official Jeffrey Eberhardt turned truth on its head, falsely accusing Iran of breaching Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty provisions it fully complies with - polar opposite US/Israeli violations.

Asked if he regards Iran's government as "evil," Pompeo responded "yes" - one of his many Big Lies about the country.

He called on Iran's ruling authorities "to cease their nuclear weapons program" they've never had and don't now.

He wants them to abandon their legal ballistic and cruise missile programs - solely for defense, unlike how the US, NATO, and Israeli operate.

"We want them to cease their terror campaign around the world (sic) that has displaced millions of people (sic) and killed hundreds of thousands of people (sic)," Pompeo roared  - high crimes the US is guilty of, not Iran.

Tough actions could follow tough talk. During his three-day visit to Britain, Trump turned truth on its head about Iran like he's done many times before.

Calling it a "terrorist nation" describes the US, not the Islamic Republic. Asked about possibly choosing the military option, Trump said "there's always a chance."

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that his government "seeks the promotion of security in the region and is not willing at all to get involved in a conflict with other countries or big powers, but if they initiate a foolish act it will definitely be met with a firm response that will make them regret" their actions.

He justifiably denounced the Trump regime's "threats, pressures, blockade and economic sanctions" - the heavy-handed way the US deals with all nations it doesn't control.

Separately, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin. Both leaders continue building an alliance based on mutual respect.

They treat their counterparts of other nations the same way - polar opposite US rage for global dominance.

On arrival in Moscow before heading to participate with Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum as the featured guest, both leaders discussed pressing world issues, including about Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and the US-initiated trade war with Beijing.

"Together with our Russian partners, we are prepared to propel bilateral relations to a higher level," said Xi - their unity a crucial counterweight to hostile US actions.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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a bit more US fakery...

It’s being reported that two tankers have been “attacked” in the Gulf of Oman. 

As yet, the reported “attack” is purely theoretical, media releases are just photographs of tankers on fire. There’s no concrete evidence, so far, that the fires were caused by an “attack”. 

None of this has stopped the US from attributing blame, of course. A “defence official” told CBS News that Iran is “likely behind the attack”.

The attack – if it is an attack – is the second such on oil tankers, in that area, in less than a month. 

On May 12th there was an alleged “sabotage attack” on Saudi Arabian oil tankers docked in the United Arab Emirates. The US attributed that “attack” to Iran as well.

Obviously this is pretty suspicious, especially since the US has form when it comes to inventing an “attack” as an excuse to escalate hostility or even start a war. (The Gulf of Tonkin incident being the obvious example, there many others).

Adding to this suspicion is the fact the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet was in the area already and was quickly on hand to assist.


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I have seen an oil tanker ablaze in the mid atlantic. It's not a pretty sight: more than 40 crew dead, a few survivors burnt to the third degree. Flames sky high... The picture of the Gulf tanker on fire, seems to be staged. A production of Les Miserables would do a better job at faking this fire. For anyone who has followed the disasters of oil rigs carefully, one would know that once such "oil" fire are started, gas explosion will follow. 


tanker "ablaze"


How come the USA, with a massive task force in the Gulf, was unable to see who did the “attack”? Or prevent it?
Why do the USA blame the Iranians, though they do not have proofs?
Why are these attacks performed on “stationary ships”, "on ballast” (empty of oil)?
Why isn’t there a full blown oil slick? Even with the double hull, the kind of damage inflicted as shown on pictures would have made a big hole in the tank… Thus the ships were not carrying oil at the time of the “attack”.
Why “only one hole”, when “real” attackers whould certainly have the ability to launch up to five “torpedoes” nearly simultaneously and hit several parts of the ships?
Though the hull of tankers is divided into various holding tanks, the fire on the ship, still inducates that the ship is not loaded with oil (i.e. no oil slick). 
Whoever is doing this damage, is obviously trying to “limit” the amount of damage. Should these attacks be false flags and then proven to be false flags, the state agent responsible — USA and allies — does not want to have a giant oil slick that would disrupt the shipping lanes from one side of the gulf to the other. 
It would not be in the interest of the Iranians to do this sort of capers, even if they went the full hog and sank a few FULLY loaded tankers. 
The Iranians don’t need to antagonise anyone. The USA are looking for trouble and an excuse to start a war with Iran.
There is 99 per cent chances that these events are false flags from the USA and their minions.


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only the UN has jurisdiction on sanctions...

Hong Kong dismissed US warnings that it could face penalties if it does business with an oil tanker that allegedly violated sanctions on Iran.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement released by the city’s spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau that it has “strictly” implemented United Nations Security Council sanctions, which don’t impose “any restrictions on the export of petroleum from Iran.”

“Certain countries may impose unilateral sanctions against certain places on the basis of their own considerations. Those sanctions are outside the scope of the UN Security Council sanctions” implemented by Hong Kong, the statement reads.

The oil tanker, the Pacific Bravo, is owned by China’s Bank of Kunlun, according to a senior US official cited by Gulf News. Reuters reported in October that the bank — once Beijing’s major channel for transactions with Iran — would stop handling such payments due to sanctions pressure. According to Reuters, a tanker in violation of US sanctions unloaded close to 130,000 tons of Iranian fuel oil into storage tanks near the eastern Chinese city of Zhoushan, and that the Pacific Braco could be one of the tankers involved in a ship-to-ship transfers scheme used by Iran to sidestep American sanctions on petroleum exports.


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broad EU skepticism of another intervention?...


By BILL WIRTZ • July 1, 2019

Regular readers of my contributions to this site may have noticed that I am in no way a fan of the European Union. Yet even with the EU, the stopped clock principle applies: they have to be right sometimes. And when Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said that everyone should tread carefully when it came to the attack on the oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, she was absolutely correct.

Mogherini stated: “We are living in crucial and delicate moments, where the most relevant attitude to take—the most responsible attitude to take—is, and we believe should be, maximum restraint, and avoiding any escalation on the military side.”

This month, one of the EU’s top advisors on security questions declared that no military intervention from the European side should take place. This echoes French President Emmanuel Macron saying that France had no place in such interventions, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for a peaceful solution to the Iran problem. Seventy-four percent of German opposed a military intervention in Syria last year. In 2002, 71 percent of Germans opposed the war in Iraq, as did 64 percent of the French. During anti-Iraq war protests that took place on February 15, 2003, 100,000 people demonstrated in Brussels, 75,000 in Amsterdam, between 100,000 and 200,000 in Paris, between 300,000 and 500,000 in Berlin, 150,000 in Athens, 60,000 in Budapest, and well over 600,000 people in Rome.

And in the United Kingdom, more than one million showed up to protest in London. The UK’s participation in the Iraq war dragged the reputation of Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour Party through the mud. A subsequent inquiry made the former UK leader subject to public prosecution because the legal basis for military action was “far from satisfactory.” Blair’s involvement in Iraq has made it difficult for any party in Westminster to legitimate any war to its constituents, most of whom feel that the unholy coalition of Blair and Bush tricked them into a war they should never have been a part of. This is a major reason why the British House of Commons voted down David Cameron’s 2013 attempt to intervene militarily in Syria.

With the UK currently undergoing a leadership contest within the Conservative Party, and with Prime Minister Theresa May on her way out, it’s unlikely the hawks will take control of Westminster anytime soon. The current favorite to win the PM position is former London mayor and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who has yet to voice his opinion on the Iran issue. His rival, current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, calls for de-escalation.

That hasn’t stopped some of the usual pro-war suspects from coming out of the woodwork. Daily Telegraph columnist Con Coughlin blames the idea that the United States could be partly responsible for the recent escalation with Iran on the “European Union’s deep-rooted anti-Americanism.” In 2003, Coughlin “revealed” information claiming that Iraqi officials met with Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers. Newsweek reported in 2003: “U.S. officials and a leading Iraqi document expert tell Newsweek that the document is most likely a forgery—part of a thriving new trade in dubious Iraqi documents that has cropped up in the wake of the collapse of Saddam’s regime.” 

Apparently we have found the British John Bolton. Just no fancy mustache.

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Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, says that military confrontation between the US and Iran becomes more likely, especially since Europeans who oppose US sanctions are not really pushing back against Trump.

funny that...

The statement comes after US President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed an American ship had destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz that ignored its warnings. At the same time, Tehran has stated that the Iranian military has no information about losing an aircraft.

"We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS [Unmanned Aerial System] by mistake!", Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Twitter, referring to the recent incident.

In the meantime, the Iranian military has announced that all of its unmanned aircraft safely returned to base, Tasnim News agency reported.

The claims about the Iranian drone come amid another escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran.


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I did not post anything earlier about this event that seems to have made the news headlines ten times over. Either way, it's too comical for words... The Iranians attacking the whole 5th or 6th fleet with one piddly drone... Yes, the Iranians had surveillance drones spying on the US Navy before, but this was before the start of the present hostilities... I am prepared to believe the Iranian government would not try the same caper again while the US war machine is on full alert.

another furphy from the pentagon...

Iranian forces have seized three commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz – the most critical waterway for the world’s oil industry – over alleged maritime violations, prompting a backlash from a spate of Western countries, primarily the United States.

The Pentagon suspects that Iran is interfering with the communications of ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, warning shipping companies of purported Iranian threats in the area.

CNN quotes an unnamed defence official as claiming that GPS jammers have been installed on Abu Musa Island, which lies in the eastern Persian Gulf near the entrance to the crucial strait. The tiny island is claimed by both Iran and the UAE but controlled by the former.


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Hello? Anyone there? Ships SHOULD BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE WITHOUT A GPS. They have radars and other devices that give them precise location. At worse, they can send someone on deck with a sextant and calculate position. Or they can follow one of the other ships in the shipping lane. GPS jammers are there for one purpose only: stop the targeting of Iranian assets with US missiles. This would be annoying to the Pentagon...


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oh, the trickery of these iranians...

(CNN) The US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration has issued a new warning to commercial shipping about Iranian threats in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, saying that some ships have reported having their GPS interfered with.

Additionally, the administration warned that there have been reports of "unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships."

The warning, which was issued Wednesday, listed a series of incidents involving Iran since May, including Iran's seizure of the United Kingdom-flagged M/V STENA IMPERO and the detention and subsequent release of the Liberian-flagged M/V MESDAR.

It said that during "at least two" recent encounters involving Iranian military forces, "vessels reported GPS interference. One vessel reportedly shut off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) before it was seized, complicating response efforts."

"Vessels have also reported spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships," the warning added.
US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the region, issued a statement Wednesday saying, "Vessels have reported GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning."

"The U.S. remains committed to working with allies and regional partners to safeguard the freedom of navigation, the free flow of commerce, and the protection of U.S. vessels and personnel in this region," the statement added. 
A US defense official told CNN that Iran has placed GPS jammers on Iran-controlled Abu Musa Island, which lies in the Persian Gulf close to the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz.

The official said that Iran had placed the jammers at that location in an attempt to disrupt civilian aircraft and ship navigation systems, hoping ships or planes will mistakenly wander into Iranian waters or airspace while their GPS systems were not functioning properly, giving Iranian forces the pretext needed to seize them. 

The official said the Iranian jammers have no effect on US military warships and aircraft. [Iranian jammer: oh crap...]
The official said that Iranian military boats have been "spoofing" the automatic identification system merchant ships use to report and disguise their vessels as merchant ships instead of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or Iranian Navy vessels.

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meanwhile, at london's school of old tricks...

It is clear that the United Kingdom could not have thought this through. Was it a touch of the Suez jitters, the haunting syndrome of 1956 leaving a false impression that the Old Empire still had it? To taunt a power already under the watchful and punitive eye of the United States was never a recipe for equanimity and calm repose.

But taunt they did, using 30 Royal Marines to detain an Iranian tanker Grace I in Gibraltar last month. 

The official justification was unconvincing: the need to enforce European Union sanctions against the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The vessel had been supposedly en route to Syria. Some in the diplomatic fraternity were perplexed: it had not previously been UK policy to diligently pursue the impounding of vessels bound for Syria with Iranian cargo. 

Local Spanish authorities sensed the hand of US pressure, of which squeezing oil revenue is one; as well as they might, given the unbridled joy expressed by President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton

Excellent news: UK has detained the supertanker Grace I laden with Iranian oil bound for Syria in violation of US sanctions.” The US and its allies would “continue to prevent regimes in Tehran & Damascus from profiting off this illicit trade.”

Former Swedish prime minister and co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations outlined some of the inconsistencies in the UK approach.

The legality of the UK seizure of a tanker heading for Syria with oil from Iran intrigues me. One refers to EU sanctions against Syria, but Iran is not a member of the EU. And the EU as a principle doesn’t impose its sanctions on others. That’s what the US does.” 

Becoming the US running dog on enforcement was not going to sit well with Iran. The Mullahs are spoiling for a fight. On May 20, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, cast an eye to historical examples of Persian resistance. 

President Donald Trump would fail as others had in their efforts to subdue his country. Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan had tried, and not succeeded. (The foreign minister’s sense of history is only as good as his sense of relativity: the Persian entity was, for a time, conquered, but the conquest was never indefinite.)

The seizures of vessels constitute a recipe for a tit-for-tat calamity. We are already seeing the bitter fruit of the harvest arising out of the seizure of Grace I. Two oil tankers – the UK registered Stena Impero, and the Mesdar, another Liberian registered vessel though British operated – were subsequently seized in the Strait of Hormuz. The Mesdar’s detention was threatening though teasingly brief; the Stena Impero, on the other hand, was to be made an example of.

Another oil tanker has since fallen into the hands of the Iranian forces, one accused of smuggling some 700,000 litres of fuel to Arab states. “The seizure of the oil tanker,” noted IRGC commander Ramezan Zirahi, “was in coordination with Iran’s judiciary authorities and based on their order.”

In all of this, the UK has made a fateful decision: the US is there to be supported in a policy to protect merchant ships against Iranian efforts. But Washington has assisted in creating the problem for which it now claims to have the solutions. It is the supplied choice of a current empire to a former one, and the current empire is keen on misbehaving. 

The forces of the US imperium have been doing their bit to ensnare Iran in a troubling vice, be it from al-Asad airbase in Iraq, to Qatar. At sea, the US Navy holds forth with its carrier strike group. Sanctions have been ramped; the Iran nuclear deal dumped upon and exited. The Trump administration persists in causing a certain modicum of mayhem.

Putting up your hands for an unconditional commitment to a US-led effort cuts against the grain for a united European-controlled mission in the strait. European powers also feel they must be firm, just not in the Trump way. The result has seen hesitation and concern about whether Germany and France might be added to any cobbled coalition. 

Farther afield, Australia has also fielded a request from Washington described as “serious and complex”, one that would see oil shipments from Iranian incursions being protected. Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has not been exactly forthcoming in any way on what qualifies the request as complex and serious, though, like a long retained servant to the lord of a manor, makes it sound grander than it is. 

Now, Britain finds itself stretched, the rubber man of international relations keen to maintain shape, if only in distorted fashion. Iran was bold, even brazen, but its forces feel they have every right to be. The current conventions are for ditching; the protocols of old are being thrown out like stagnant dishwater. 

Now, in with the new, the asymmetrical teasing, be it through sponsored agents in Yemen, allies in Iraq, or a chance to seize, if only arbitrarily, various assets in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian actions have done their bit to strike a degree of consternation. 

Moez Hayat, penning a view in The National Interest, exemplifies that consternation. Iran struck when the UK lacked awareness and cogency. “Functionally, Britain was leaderless as Iranian forces boarded the vessel. 

Prime Minister Theresa May was a lame duck, unable to act as the Conservative Party elected a successor.” The problems go far deeper than that, telling of European disunity and continued US bellicosity. On this occasion, a simpler assessment is that Britain was caught in the strait, a true US set-up with continuing consequences

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.comRead more:

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there is international law and US hooliganism...

The US Department of Justice has made a last-minute request to the authorities in Gibraltar to halt the release of a seized Iranian supertanker.

Grace 1, carrying Iranian oil, was stopped by Royal Marines on 4 July, triggering a standoff with Tehran.

The vessel was due to be released, after Gibraltar's attorney general indicated there would be no further order for its detention. 

But the US request will be considered, with a court hearing set for 15:00 BST.

Gibraltar said the US application is based on a "number of allegations which are now being considered".

The UK Foreign Office said it was unable to comment on the US request.

A spokesman for Gibraltar's government also confirmed that police proceedings against four members of the crew, including the captain - an Indian national - had ended.

The crew's legal team told the BBC that police had said this was due to actions by the Iranian government, and that it was no longer in the public interest to proceed. 

The crew of 28 are Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino and have spent 43 days in detention on board the ship.

The Grace 1's captain said in a statement: "I am grateful and thankful for my release. And I am grateful to all who have facilitated my release in my legal team."

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Authorities in Gibraltar have released the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, after receiving assurances that its cargo is not destined for Syria. The US had formally requested them to detain the vessel for a further period.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo agreed to lift the detention on the ship, however, after Tehran gave written assurances that its cargo – 2.1 million barrels of oil – would not be unloaded in Syria.

“In light of the assurances we have received, there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1 in order to ensure compliance with the EU Sanctions Regulation,” he said.

The United States  requested the government of Gibraltar not to release the tanker.

“The US Department of Justice has applied to seize the Grace 1 on a number of allegations, which are now being considered,” the Gibraltar government said in a statement, adding that the issue would be reviewed in the courts later on Thursday afternoon.

Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, called Washington's move "its desperate, last-minute efforts, intended to prevent the release of the [Grace 1] oil tanker from detention" that ended with "humiliation.” 


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One thing that could have worried (or should have worried) the Poms is that a tanker with 2.1 million barrels of oil could soon become a rust bucket, start leaking oil around Gibraltar and sink right there in the harbour... This would be looking very untidy...

And one should remember that Syria has enough oil and does not need the Grace...

the sooner bolton goes, the better the world...

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump called his appointee “absolutely a hawk,” and added that US National Security Advisor John Bolton would like to “take on the whole world at one time,” if it was up to him.

Russia’s ‘Stolen’ Tech

Commenting on recent affairs in an interview with US media, US National Security Advisor John Bolton accused Russia of building hypersonic missiles based on stolen US military technology. 

Speaking about a recent explosion at a military facility in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, Bolton speculated that the incident “demonstrates that although Russia’s economy is roughly the size of the Netherlands, it’s still spending enough on defense to not only modernize their nuclear arsenal, but to build new kinds of delivery vehicles – hypersonic glide vehicles, hypersonic cruise missiles – largely stolen from American technology.”

“Dealing with this capability and the possibility that other countries would get it too remains a real challenge for the United States and its allies,” he said, coyly adding that “we know more than I’m going to tell you” about the incident.

On 8 August, an explosion rocked the village  of Nyonoksa in the Arkhangelsk region. Five people were reported dead as a result of the incident. The Russian Defense Ministry disclosed that the explosion happened during a test of a new jet engine, without providing further details. Following the incident, media speculated on the nature of the detonation, suggesting, among other things,  that the explosion could have belonged to a prospective nuclear-powered hypersonic Burevestnik ‘Skyfall’ missile.

Hong Kong Protests

Bolton commented on Hong Kong protesters, warning Beijing not to make “mistakes,” lest they face dramatic consequences in international investment.

“The Chinese have to look very carefully at the steps they take, because people in America remember Tiananmen Square,” he said. “It would be a big mistake to create a new memory like that in Hong Kong.”

He asserted that roughly 60 percent of investment in mainland China goes through Hong Kong, because “it has a judicial system that’s trustworthy,” based on the English model “that we know in this country.”

“If Hong Kong loses that reputation because of a bad decision by the Chinese government, they’ll have significant economic consequences in China this time,” he threatened.

According to Bolton, the US Congress is “volatile” over Hong Kong these days, and a “misstep by the Chinese government would cause an explosion on Capitol Hill.”

China has repeatedly called on the US to stop meddling in its internal affairs, saying that the semi-autonomous Hong Kong region falls exclusively within the domain of Beijing’s domestic affairs.

Earlier this week, the Chinese foreign ministry accused Washington of inciting chaos after some US lawmakers condemned what they observed to be a violent crackdown on Hong Kong protesters.

Venezuelan Opposition

Bolton reiterated his criticism of Venzuelan President Nicholas Maduro and his support for the political opposition in the nation.

“We are entirely behind their justifiable desire to be able to control their own government, to get rid of this authoritarian military regime that’s basically ruined the economy of the country,” he said, noting once again that the US and its allies recognize Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela.  Bolton added, however, that “our desire is to see this peaceful transfer of power and have really true free elections.”

Since January, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has repeatedly called for the removal of President Nicholas Maduro from office, and has attempted to persuade the Armed Forces to join his cause. The military has nonetheless remained loyal to Maduro, however, and Guaido’s coup attempt has not come to fruition.

The Maduro administration accused the opposition and its supporters in Washington of sabotage of Venezuelan infrastructure, which led to a prolonged blackout across the country.

The US imposed numerous sanctions on Venezuela, including sanctions on oil exports, which provides the vast majority of the nation’s revenue, inflicting significant damage to the Venezuelan economy already devastated by years of economic hardship.



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adding blatant crap to constant US shit...

The Iranian-flagged oil tanker Grace 1, released on Thursday from Gibraltar after being held for over a month, will reportedly head to the Mediterranean Sea under a new name: the Adrian Darya. 

The US Justice Department (DoJ) issued a warrant on Friday for the seizure of the Iranian supertanker Grace 1. According to the document, the vessel, all the oil aboard and $995,000 are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), bank fraud, money laundering, and terrorism forfeiture statutes.

The warrant also alleges that "a scheme to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization. The scheme involves multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC and furthered by the deceptive voyages of the Grace 1. A network of front companies allegedly laundered millions of dollars in support of such shipments", according to the DoJ.

In addition, the document stresses that "a seizure warrant and a forfeiture complaint are merely allegations. The burden to prove forfeitability in a civil forfeiture proceeding is upon the government", according to the Justice Department.

The vessel was released on Thursday after Gibraltar reportedly received assurances from the captain that the tanker would not deliver its cargo to Syria, UK-based media outlets broke this news earlier. The crew members were also set free.

However, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Abbas Mousavi, said on Friday that Tehran had not provided guarantees that its oil tanker Grace 1 would not go to Syria upon its release. Mousavi confirmed an earlier Foreign Ministry statement that the oil tanker was not heading to Syria when it was detained off Gibraltar's coast by UK marines on 4 July. Meanwhile, he noted that Iran was providing to Syria support in such spheres as energy and oil.

The United States reportedly made a last-ditch attempt to seize Grace 1 mere hours before Gibraltar was poised to set it free, with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, slamming the move as piracy.

The US Department of State on Thursday threatened any individuals linked to the Iranian Grace 1 oil tanker with "serious consequences," including visa restrictions due to alleged links to the IRGC.

Washington and Tehran have been in conflict since the US withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year, also commonly known as JCPOA, re-imposing sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation.

The move was followed by an escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf in which several tankers had been attacked, prompting the United States to increase its military presence in the region. Iran, in its turn, downed a US drone over the coastal Hormozgan area, in its territorial waters, prompting threats by the United States.


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bribery, extortion, threats, robbery, officially....

The US State Department is openly using organized crime tactics, including bribery and extortion, in an effort to bend Iran to its will after its usual allies refused to get sucked into a coalition to 'police' the Persian Gulf.

The Pentagon admits that “no plan” has yet come together to combat Iranian oil tanker traffic militarily – the usual “coalition of the willing” has not materialized, with nothing to gain from picking a fight with the well-armed Islamic republic – and has passed the issue to the State Department consiglieres, er, diplomats.

US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook dangled millions of dollars in front of the captain of beleaguered Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, Akhilesh Kumar, hoping to entice him into sailing to a country that would impound the vessel Gibraltar released last month – and warning that if Kumar did not comply, he would suffer dire consequences.


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murdoch media writes rubbish again...

This is a lot of bullshittic interpretations from the Murdoch press...

The USA created the mess. Iran does not have to abide by the "terms of the release of their tanker". The Iranian were prevented by the USA to take the tanker to Greece and the cargo of oil HAS NOT BEEN UNLOADED AT TARTUS. Furthermore, Syria does not need this Iranian oil, nor does Russia. The Chinese might buy the boat (say renamed 早上的花) and the oil to sail back through Gibraltar under Chinese and Russian escort to the Pearl River area. Why not. Even if the oil was unloaded at Tartus, this has nothing to do with the price of fish. The USA were the one who renegaded on agreements which Europe wants to keep. And the tanker was arrested in International waters by the Gibraltar authorities under USA orders which are not valid under international laws.


Here is the New York Post (Murdoch media):

Europe learns again that trusting Iran is for suckers

By Post Editorial Board

September 10, 2019 | 7:30pm

It’s no real surprise when the government of Iran breaks its word, so why do European leaders keep accepting it? Call the latest debacle “the tale of the tanker that could.”

Back in July, British Royal Marines stopped an Iranian oil tanker, Grace One, that was plainly bound for Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

Note that these EU sanctions were on the Syrian government, over its countless atrocities in the long civil war — not on Iran.

Gibraltar authorities detained the ship for weeks, even after Iran responded by seizing a UK-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz.

But in mid-August the ship was quietly released from Gibraltar — after Iran gave written promises it wouldn’t take its 2 million barrels of oil to Syria. American authorities then sought to seize the tanker, but no Mediterranean nation would assist, as it was officially bound for Turkey.

Yet the ship, renamed Adrian Darya One, has instead docked at … Tartus, Syria. And Iran’s foreign ministry even says it has now delivered its cargo “on the Mediterranean coast.” Meanwhile, the Stena Impero remains in Iranian custody, though several of its crew were released this week.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has summoned the Iranian ambassador for a firm talking-to. That’ll show’em!

Lesson No. 1: Iran can’t be trusted an inch.

Lesson No. 2: Europe’s preferred Iran policy — appeasement — is not only weak, but futile.
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Note that most of Tartus is leased to the Russian Fleet.

pirates of the texas-ean...

US officials told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that the US had seized four Iranian tankers on the high seas allegedly loaded with Iranian petroleum in violation of US sanctions. The four vessels are now en route to Houston, Texas, a major petroleum port.

According to the WSJ report, the tankers Luna, Pandi, Bering and Bella were all seized without the use of military force in recent days. The effort was reportedly motivated by the arrival of five Iranian fuel tankers in Venezuela earlier this year, which delivered 1.5 million barrels of gasoline to the country, which is similarly placed under restrictive economic sanctions by the United States.

Two of the ships just seized, the Bering and the Bella, were previously intimidated into canceling their shipments to Venezuela in the aftermath of the flotilla. Both ships are registered in Liberia but owned by Greek shippers.

The seizure was enabled by a civil-forfeiture complaint filed by US prosecutors in July, which initially aimed to seize Iranian tankers bound for Venezuela, but also encompassed future shipments elsewhere.

On August 10, Pakistan seized an Iranian tanker in the port of Karachi at the behest of the US government, but as the name of the tanker was never reported, it's unclear if it is one of the four now en route to Houston.

The Trump administration began imposing strangling economic sanctions on Tehran beginning in August 2018, with the goal of reducing Iranian oil exports to zero, but also chipping away at other Iranian industries as well. US President Donald Trump claimed Iran had been violating the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an eight-party deal in which Iran agreed to restrictive rules about its use of nuclear power and storage of refined uranium in exchange for the lowering of longstanding economic sanctions.

However, no other countries party to the deal found fault with Iran's behavior and some initially pledged to continue trading with Iran, but the threat of US sanctions against them as well has slowly deprived Tehran of customers for petroleum, its single largest export.

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It is obvious that this is an act of HIGH piracy under pretences of whatever. NO SHIP CAN BE INTERFERE WITH IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS in peace times... 

fighting the pirates of washington...


By Kevin Karp, commentator, screenwriter, and former political adviser in the House of Commons and the European Parliament. As an EU adviser based in Brussels and Strasbourg, he specialized in international trade, European populism, and Brexit. Find his website at



US sanctions on Iran have backfired. As demonstrated by its completion of a major oil pipeline, Goreh-Jask, which bypasses the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran has turned the hardship of sanctions into a source of strength.  

Shortly after the US Department of Justice announced on Monday that two million barrels of impounded Iranian oil had been sold for $110 million, a pair of suspicious fires broke out affecting Iranian infrastructure. The first, striking the country’s biggest warship, the IRIS ‘Kharg’, eventually caused the vessel to sink in the Gulf of Oman. So far, Iranian officials have offered no explanation for the blaze. The second fire hit a state-owned oil refinery near Tehran and was only extinguished after more than 20 hours. 


The same day that the oil sale was announced, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh issued a warning in reference to two Iranian vessels being monitored by the US for allegedly sailing for Venezuela – Iran’s ally that is also under onerous US sanctions. He stated that “nobody should make a miscalculation” by prohibiting Iran’s freedom of navigation in international waters.


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Should the Yanks prevent Iran selling oil under the pretence of reducing "Global warming", we could add that the US is now an exporter of oil and gas, like never before. Thus the argument would not hold water in a barrel... Meanwhile, the Russians who are trying to finish the Nord Stream2 pipeline, which annoys the Yanks because they want to sell gas to Europe at three times the price, are also selling gas to the Chinese by the triple load:



Russia’s energy major Gazprom said on Monday that it had pumped more gas to China in February via the Power of Siberia pipeline than it had initially planned, more than tripling supplies compared to the same month last year.

“The export of gas to China through the Power of Siberia gas pipeline continues to grow. Supplies regularly exceed our daily contractual obligations. The actual monthly volume of supplies in February is 3.2 times more than in February 2020,” Gazprom said in a statement.

The 3,000km (1,864 mile) cross-border pipeline started official deliveries of Russian natural gas to China in 2019. The so-called eastern route’s capacity is 61 billion cubic meters of gas per year, including 38 billion cubic meters for export. Last year, Gazprom supplied 4.1 billion cubic meters of gas to China via the Power of Siberia. It plans to boost exports by an additional six billion cubic meters.


Meanwhile the Yanks are annoyed:


Stop Protecting China’s Access To Oil


U.S. policies in the Middle East have wasted American blood and treasure and guaranteed China's continued supply of oil.


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another "false-flag" event...

Earlier, an Israeli-managed merchant ship named Mercer Street came under a drone attack that killed two of its crew members who were from the UK and Romania. Although Israel was quick to accuse Iran for the incident, it was not until Sunday that the US agreed and placed blame on the Middle Eastern nation.

The US Department of State informed the American public on Monday that it will be working alongside allies to organize a response against Iran for the recent deadly attack on the Mercer Street commercial ship.

Antony Blinken, who serves as US secretary of state, revealed to reporters during a Monday briefing that the US is working with the UK, Israel, Romania and "other allies" to come up with a "collective response" to the Mercer Street attack that unfolded as the commercial vessel was transiting the Arabian Sea. 

"We are in very close contact and coordination with the UK, Israel [and] Romania," Blinken informed reporters, underscoring that "there will be a collective response" to the incident.


However, he further acknowledged that he was unsure whether such a strike constituted as "anything new or augers anything one way or another for the new government [of Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi]," as Iran has been involved in a "series" of similar actions "over many months, including against shipping." 

"What it does say is that Iran continues to act with tremendous irresponsibility when it comes to - in this instance - threats to navigation, to commerce, to innocent sailors who are simply engaged in commercial transit in international waters," he added.

Blinken's remarks largely reiterated comments he offered through a Sunday release that issued blame on Iran, and indicated that the based upon "available information," all signs allegedly pointed Iran as the culprit. "We are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region," the statement read.

The US' condemnation against Iran was voiced despite the Iranian Foreign Ministry blasting accusations that it had anything to do with the strike, as well as Iranian leadership warning that it fully intends to respond "immediately and strongly" to any retaliatory moves taken against the Middle Eastern nation.

At the time, Saeed Khatibzadeh, who serves as a spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told the media that the US and the UK had made "contradictory, false and provocative accusations" the moment officials decided to lay blame on Iran for the July 29 attack.

Tensions between the involved parties were further heightened as reports detailed that Israel is either brainstorming a response or was already reportedly given a "green light" from the US and the UK to issue a "response" to the Mercer Street incident. The developments surfaced as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Iran of being an "exporter of terror, destruction and instability."


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Journalists with "integrity" if you still have some left: make your brain work for a minute or two: Iran has nothing to gain from a tiny drone attack on an Israeli tanker. The West has everything to gain by blaming Iran for a (pissy little) drone attack on this tanker... Had Iran "attacked" the tanker, it would HAVE BEEN SUNK. So, conclusion? Either the drone attack was a rogue act from unknown party (Yemenis, Houthis?) or was a set up — A FALSE FLAG EVENT — designed by the US (CIA, et al) to pile dirt and attack Iran (soon to come in your theatre near you)... 


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israel/iran shipping...

On July 29, according to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO, a unit of the British Navy), there was an attack in the Arabian Sea on the oil tanker Mercer Street, associated with Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, killing two crew members, one British and one Romanian. The incident occurred northeast of Masirah Island of Oman about 300 kilometers southeast of the Sultanate’s capital Muscat. Several drones carried out the attack.

The news website Al-Alam quoted unofficial sources as saying that the attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, in which two crew members were killed, could be revenge for the deaths of two “resistance fighters” in the Israeli Air Force attack on Syria’s Al-Dabaa military airport and Al-Qusayr district in western part of Homs Governorate on the night of July 22.

According to a July 31 statement by Jalina Porter, Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the US Department of State, the United States cannot confirm Iran’s involvement in the attack on the Israeli tanker in the northern Indian Ocean. Nevertheless, the British media connect this incident with the increased tensions in the region between Iran and Israel, which, in particular, had already previously been marked by a series of attacks on merchant ships of the two countries.

It is worth noting that on April 6, the Iranian ship Saviz was attacked with mines off the coast of Djibouti in the Red Sea. The ship sustained minor damage, and no crew members were injured. The Times of Israel admitted Israel’s involvement in the attack on the Iranian ship. On April 25, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, Iran’s Chief of Staff, threatened to retaliate against Israel, following an Iranian oil tanker was attacked off the coast of Syria,killing three people on the merchant ship: a tanker carrying oil to Syria was attacked near Port of Banias. It was attacked by a drone launched from Lebanese territorial waters.

In March, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) presented its analysis of conflicts with Iranian and Israeli maritime vessels over the recent period. Thus, the publication claimed that Israel has been carrying out covert strikes against Iranian ships and other ships carrying the Islamic Republic’s cargo since 2019. Examples were given of Israeli attacks using mines and other weapons on at least 12 Iranian ships bound for Syria, most of which carried Iranian oil. It was also pointed out that some of the alleged Israeli strikes in the Red Sea and other Middle Eastern waters were aimed at allegedly Iranian-linked arms shipments. The ships were not sunk due to the attacks, but at least two ships had to return urgently to Iran.

In February and March, there were reports of Iranian attacks on Israeli merchant ships in the Arabian Sea, confirming an escalating confrontation between Iran and Israel. Thus, according to Israeli media reports, on February 26 in the Gulf of Oman, there was an explosion on the container ship MV Helios Ray, sailing under the Bahamian flag but belonging to Israel. The military-political leadership of the Jewish state immediately accused Iran of attacking the ship. Tehran, in turn, categorically denied the accusations.

On March 25, the Liberian-flagged Israeli container ship Lori was hit by a missile in the Arabian Sea but continued its journey from Tanzania to India because the damage was minor. No one on board the ship was injured. The ship is owned by XT Management, based in the Israeli Port of Haifa.

On April 13, an Israeli-owned ship called the Hyperion Ray, sailing under the Bahamian flag but owned by an Israeli company that supplies cars, was attacked off the coast of the Emirate of Fujairah. There was no information about casualties on board or the extent of damage caused to the ship. The incident took place on the second day after Iran blamed Israel for the April 11 explosion at one of the key nuclear facilities of the Islamic Republic – Natanz centrifuge facility (Isfahan province).

These incidents at sea clearly demonstrate the ongoing conflict in the so-called “shadow zone” between Israel and Iran. According to several experts, such operations are coercive and, at the same time, ambiguous. The “authorship” is difficult to determine with a high degree of accuracy. They are undertaken by actors attempting to revise the regional order while remaining below the threshold to justify a military response from the other side. Experts believe that operations in the “shadow zone” are becoming a central component of the strategy of both Israel and Iran.

They have recently become active against the backdrop of covert operations of the long-standing confrontation between the intelligence services of Israel and Iran and is no small matter of war. After all, the undeclared military operations of the Israeli secret services against Iranian nuclear facilities, nuclear scientists, politicians, and Iranian military leaders with numerous sabotage, subversions, and murders, became undeclared military operations of recent years. Just look at the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Iranian major general and a commander of the Quds Force or Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading Iranian nuclear physicist, by the Israeli intelligence services in January 2020!

All such actions by the Israeli secret services, of course, could not remain unpunished, as the official authorities of the Islamic Republic have repeatedly warned Israel. However, Tehran wisely did not carry out the earlier threat of a missile strike against Israel, but showed its commitment to their policy of “an eye for an eye” with little bloodshed. In this way, Tehran is forced to accept the rules of the game imposed on it by Israel, thanks to whose efforts terrorism and assassinations of political and important public figures are unfortunately becoming the norm in relations with Iran.



Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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