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US's misguided strategy against Iran

An image grab taken from a broadcast by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on July 22, 2019 shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards in speedboats patrolling a tanker Stena Impero as it's anchored off the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. (Photo by AFP)

The US seems to be using the UK as bait in orchestrating the Gibraltar Tanker incident carrying Iranian oil so that it is not alone in antagonism against Iran.

The US which has found itself alone in the West in its antagonist polices against Iran, this time managed to convince the UK to capture Iranian oil tanker illegally.

Iran captured a British vessel for breaching international maritime law while crossing a prohibited maritime passage in the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil must pass.

The vessel Stena Impero was transferred to Bandar Abbas or Port Abbas to undergo required legal proceedings. This was quickly interpreted as a tit-for-tat action in response to the UK impounding the above-said Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar, two weeks earlier.

Alongside the escalation of tensions between the US and Iran, the UK seized Iranian oil tanker on suspicion Grace 1 was shipping oil to Syria in violation of an EU embargo. Iran maintains the UK act was illegal as third parties, i.e. Iran, have no obligation to secure EU sanctions. And the tanker was not headed for Syria anyway.

On the other hand, the British Stena Impero had its tracking signals off, and failed to hail the distress call from an Iranian fishing boat it accidentally hit. It then ignored warnings by Iranian authorities.

Also it had been releasing oil residue into Persian waters. In total, it was in violation of "innocent passage," defined in maritime law, in relation to the passage of vessels through the territorial waters of another state.

As a result, Iran captured the British oil tanker legally. The mainstream media, however, tries to convince the world that it was a retaliatory move.

All this was US mistakes by the British. How it began was with a purely cowboy act. US President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal or JCPOA on May 8, 2018. The UK just made the mistake of condemning the US act, then sweetening the US by condemning Iran’s partial reversible withdrawal a year later. This was its second mistake.

Like other European parties to the deal, the UK did not do much to protect Iran from US sanctions which ensued Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.

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