US/UK Militarization of Persian Gulf Waters Risks War

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US/UK Militarization of Persian Gulf Waters Risks War

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Britain is an appendage of Washington’s belligerent imperial agenda. 

Israel, the Saudis, UAE, and other regional regimes hostile to peace operate the same way.

Sending more US and UK warships to Persian Gulf waters has nothing to do with regional security, everything to do with stoking tensions more than already — risking possible confrontation with Iran.

It’s what Trump regime hardliners Bolton, Pompeo, and their henchmen are pushing for in a part of the world already boiling from US aggression.

On Sunday, Iran’s Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei accused the US and UK of heightening regional tensions by their provocative actions.

Iran considers itself the guardian of safe passage through Persian Gulf waters and the strategic Hormuz Strait chokepoint off its coastline. 

During a meeting with senior Chinese diplomat Song Tao in Tehran, Rezaei said the following:

“(W)e live in the energy region of the world. Any kind of insecurity and conflict in this region would carry harm to global peace and security,” adding:

“Americans and Britain have been fanning the flames of war in the Persian Gulf region, and they want to pretend they have control over the Strait of Hormuz and the movement of vessels.” 

“Of course, we do not allow this to happen. In the meantime, we expect cooperation from our friends in China.”

“Persian Gulf security is our security, and we have to respond to their attacks and destabilizing actions in order to maintain security. We want free shipping and security in the Persian Gulf.”

Song said the mission of his visit to Tehran “is to strengthen the strategic coordination and dialogue between the two countries, and we are willing to confront challenges and problems together,” adding:

“(T)here are complicated and rapid developments happening on the international stage that have created challenges for the countries of China and Iran, but our resolve and determination is to support Iran’s legal and legitimate rights to development and progress.”

Beijing rejects illegal US sanctions on Iran, what it calls its unacceptable “long-arm jurisdiction.”

In June, Chinese and Islamic Republic naval vessels conducted joint military exercises near the Hormuz Strait.

Securing it against hostile US-led actions is essential to both countries, China getting much of its oil from the region.

Reportedly both countries established multi-million barrel oil storage facilities at Chinese ports. Iranian oil continues to be shipped to the country.

According to oil analyst Rachel Yew, “Iranian oil shipments have been flowing into Chinese bonded storage for some months now, and continue to do so despite increased scrutiny,” adding:

“We can see why the producer would want to do so, as a build-up of supplies near key buyers is clearly beneficial for a seller…”

According to ship-tracking data cited by Bloomberg News, 10 or more super-tankers and at least two smaller ones owned by the National Iranian Oil Company are in transit to China, already in its waters, or docked in its ports.

These vessels carry around 20 million barrels of oil. China reportedly is receiving more Iranian oil than what tracking data show, more supplies arriving almost daily.

The world community knows that US sanctions have no validity. Nations observing them are complicit with its hostile actions — notably Britain, France, Germany, and the EU by breaching their JCPOA commitments.

On Sunday, an emergency meeting was held in Vienna to try saving the JCPOA. Following the session, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi called the “atmosphere…constructive” — code language for failing to bring Europe into compliance with its obligations, Araghchi adding:

“I cannot say that we resolved everything, I can say there are lots of commitments.”

There have been European commitments since the Trump regime abandoned the landmark agreement in May 2018 — but no fulfillment.

Sunday’s meeting failed to bring Europe into compliance with its obligations. 

As long as EU countries fail to fulfill their JCPOA commitments, Iran will continue reducing its own to legitimate pre-agreement activities, Araqchi saying:

“As we have said, we will continue to reduce our commitments to the deal until Europeans secure Iran’s interests under the deal.”

“The countries who are part of (the nuclear deal) shouldn’t create obstacles for the export of Iranian oil” — what they’re doing by their unacceptable actions.

EU countries are committed to preserving the JCPOA rhetorically. Their actions show complicity with the Trump regime’s unlawful breach of the deal.

Continued failure to fulfill their obligations will doom the landmark agreement if nothing changes ahead.

Separately, Iranian spokesman Ali Rabiei said “(w)e heard that…a European fleet (is coming) to the Persian Gulf, which naturally carries a hostile message, is provocative, and will increase tensions.”

“The presence of foreign forces will not help the region’s security and will be the main source of tensions,” Iranian President Rouhani stressed.

It shows EU complicity with the Trump regime’s unlawful “maximum pressure” on Iran — making it harder to preserve the JCPOA.

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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.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.