Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran

Iran “Finds”, “Saves” Lost Oil Tanker


In this file picture, Iranian speedboats drive in front of an oil tanker at the port of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf. (Photo by AFP)

In what is still one of the strangest, probably orchestrated event, Iran’s official news outlet, PressTV, is claiming Iran responded to a distress call and came to the aid of the missing oil tanker, Riah, in the Persian Gulf.

This, despite the fact that nobody else heard the distress call, in an area replete with a myriad of Signals Intelligence listening stations, tuned to every radio frequency known to man.

According to Washington Post Correspondent Erin Cunningham, there were no tugboats in the area, but Iran is saying their tugboats were there.

In the below article, notice PressTV linked this event to the seizure of the Iranian tanker off Gibraltar. Funny how they worked that into the article…

It appears too coincidental that Iran came to anyone’s assistance.

It also appears too coincidental that the tanker was “missing” since Saturday and only one hour ago Iran’s PressTV published the below article.  Also, Iran is being made out to be a hero, coming to a floundering vessel’s aid.

If I was a foreign information warfare expert, oh, wait a second, I am.  I would say this looks, smells, and feels just like a fabricated incident meant to portray Iran as helpful, humanitarian, and even benevolent.  Informative, too.

The old saying applies here: When something looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

As Alice said in Alice in Wonderland, things are getting “curiouser and curiouser”.

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The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry says the country’s naval forces have assisted a foreign crude oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, after they received a request for help from the vessel.

Seyyed Abbas Mousavi told IRIB News late on Tuesday that the tanker suffered a technical glitch, and accordingly sent a distress call.

He added that Iranian forces rushed to the scene after receiving the call, and tug boats salvaged the disabled vessel and towed it towards Iranian territorial waters to undergo required repair.

Earlier in the day, the Associated Press reported that an oil tanker of Emirati ownership had been unaccounted for in the Persian Gulf for three straight days. The Panama-flagged vessel Riah reportedly went off radars on Saturday. The tanker had apparently turned off its transponder.

The AP cited an unnamed Emirati official as saying that the ship was “neither UAE-owned nor [UAE-]operated” and carried no Emirati personnel.  “We are monitoring the situation with our international partners,” the UAE official noted. The 58-meter-long tanker would usually freight between Dubai and Sharjah. The ship’s registered owner, the Dubai-based Prime Tankers LLC, said it had sold it to another company called Mouj al-Bahar. The agency contacted the latter firm but was notified that it was not running any ships at all.

On July 4, British Royal Marines in Gibraltar stormed the Iran-operated supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar, seizing the 300,000-ton vessel based on the accusation that it was carrying oil to Syria in possible violation of the European Union’s sanctions on the war-torn Arab country.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has condemned the British government’s illegal seizure of the Iranian supertanker, saying the act of “piracy” will not go unanswered.

“The wicked Britain commits an act of maritime piracy and steals our ship,” said Ayatollah Khamenei. “They (the British) perpetrate a crime and make it look legal.”

“The Islamic Republic and faithful elements of the establishment will not leave this wickedness unanswered and will respond to it at an appropriate time and place,” the Leader added.

7 thoughts on “Iran “Finds”, “Saves” Lost Oil Tanker

    1. Roger, are you implying Britain hijacked this boat?

      Your “historical reference” of the Brits hijacking a Swedish vessel was at least 74 years ago. Anything more recent?

      1. Actually, I have to add more distant events in time. Many years ago Britain was although just one of the nations participating in state sponsored piracy, they were the leading nation in this. Actually, it is still in the Royal Navy’s protocol how to perform piracy acts. They never really lost it. Do you really that it is an easy thing to board a ship with a hostile crew? No, they had trained for this!

        I’m not implying anything. It’s just that when I see a bird that walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck. I’m not taking sides with the theocrats in Iran.

        Go Royal Navy, so to speak!

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