Russia Linked to Iran’s UK Tanker Seizure?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
When in doubt about responsibility for events on the world stage, blame…you guessed it…Russia…who else!
The latest phony blame game accusation involves nonbelligerent Iran v. hostile Britain in cahoots with the Trump regime’s war on the Islamic Republic by other means while pretending otherwise.
First some facts unexplained or glossed over by Western sources and their press agent media.
On July 4, likely timed with Trump’s militarized US independence day commemoration, appendage to the US imperial agenda Britain illegally seized Iran’s Grace 1 supertanker — an act of high seas maritime piracy, according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell (who’ll replace Federica Mogherini as EU foreign policy chief later this year) said Britain’s Grace 1 seizure responded to a US request.
Britain nearly always bows to Washington’s geopolitical will, notably by partnering with its wars of aggression against sovereign independent states threatening no one — along with supporting Israel’s persecution of long-suffering Palestinians.
On July 19, Iran responded to Britain’s indisputable maritime piracy by legally seizing its Stena Impero tanker.
The vessel provocatively turned off its transponder, contravening maritime regulations, breached the right of “innocent passage” in Iranian Hormuz Strait territorial waters, and ignored multiple Iranian warnings of its improper behavior — before impounding the vessel occurred.
Britain breached international maritime law. Iran’s action observed it. There’s no ambiguity about good and bad actors, about which nation’s action was proper v. the other’s breach of its maritime obligations.
Of course, Western officials and establishment media claim otherwise — why they lack credibility time and again, especially related to nations on the US target list for transformation into vassal states, notably Iran.
On July 21, Britain’s Sunday Mirror headlined “Iran tanker crisis: MI6 probe link to Putin after British ship is seized,” saying:
“EXCLUSIVE: British oil tanker may have been driven into danger zone by ‘spoof’ GPS co-ordinates in a Tehran trap operation.”
The above sounds like the plot of a money-losing, Grade B Hollywood flop.
Here’s the improbable plot, likely fed the Mirror by UK intelligence — wanting Iran wrongfully blamed for acting legally while ducking responsibility for maritime piracy by UK naval forces in a part of the world not their own.
The Mirror: “A British oil tanker was ‘steered’ towards Iranian waters by false GPS co-ordinates sent by Russian spy technology, it is now feared,” adding:
“Security sources say GCHQ and MI6 are investigating whether Iranian intelligence transmitted spoof signals to the skipper of the Stena Impero.”
Since developed in the 1980s, commercial and military vessels have GPS capabilities to aid navigation from satellite signals by their own countries or allied ones.
Britain clearly has this capability. It has communications, reconnaissance, and other orbiting satellites.
Why would its vessels use GPS aid from another country when available from their own nation and allied ones, several options.
Yet the Mirror claimed “(t)he capture of two tankers (sic) in Iranian waters may have been the result of Russian efforts using spy technology.”
Only one tanker was seized, another briefly stopped, then let proceed on course to its destination.
Falsely blaming Russia for involvement in the Stena Impero’s seizure flies in the face of its all-out efforts to resolve international conflicts and disputes diplomatically.
Among major nations, Russia is the leading proponent of world peace and stability, no evidence whatever suggesting its involvement in any of the hostile actions it’s been falsely accused of.
Yet according to the Mirror, “(a)n investigation into potential Russian involvement in the Iranian seizure of two tankers (sic) has begun” — the fabricated results easy to imagine.
Despite no evidence suggesting it, the Mirror said UK “(s)ecurity sources said Iranian drones may have tampered with GPS signals,” adding:
“Russia has the technology to spoof GPS and may have helped Iran in this venture as it was extremely brazen.”
“It would make British shipping extremely vulnerable and will be of grave concern to Royal Navy warships in the region” — citing an unnamed “western security source.”
Based on fabricated information fed the Mirror, the broadsheet claimed “Russia’s apparent involvement (sic) could only happen with President Putin’s approval (sic).”
Virtually all accusations against Russia lacked credible supporting evidence — because none exists.
The scenario repeats time and again, Moscow falsely blamed for things it had nothing to do with.
The same goes for other US/NATO/Israeli adversaries. When repeated enough times by establishment media, most people believe the rubbish fed them.
The US, UK, other key NATO nations, Israel, and their imperial partners pose an unprecedented global menace to world peace, stability and security.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his nation has always been, and will continue to be, the key guardian of regional security, including free navigation through Persian Gulf waters and its strategic chokepoints.
Islamic Republic and Russian Federation history show their dedication to the rule of law and peaceful cooperation with other nations.
The hostile actions and aims of the US and its imperial allies are polar opposite.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”