More bluster from Tehran. Germany, driven by the Russian proxy SDP, refuses to join the multinational coalition force to protect tanker traffic, and Amb Grenell publicly chastises the Merkel government. UK rejects Iran’s tanker swap proposal. Royal Navy reports repeated provocation by Iranian forces. Complaints about Royal Navy downsizing having gone too far (as happened also with the RAF). Iranian FM Zarif sanctioned, appropriately. Russia opts to support Iran as always to spite the UK and US.
BP and Shell route UK flagged tankers away from Persian Gulf. International tanker crews now turning off their transponders during Hormuz Strait transits to deny Iranians position and identity data and complicate any attempts to hijack.
Many OpEds and analyses, as always ranging from the sane to the highly partisan and the usual apologia for the Tehran regime. Some Western journalists appear to be suffering identity confusion, as they are actively defending a toxic fascist regime in Tehran.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday Iranian officials were ready for the worst as they tried to salvage their nuclear deal with world powers, but he was sure they would eventually prevail.
The U.S. ambassador to Germany called on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Thursday to take on a global responsibility to match its economic might after Berlin showed reluctance to join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz.
DW News Published on Aug 1, 2019 The US ambassador to Germany has sharply criticized Angela Merkel’s government for its reluctance to join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz. “America has sacrificed a lot to help Germany remain part of the West,” Richard Grenell said. “Germany is the biggest economic power in Europe. This success brings global responsibilities.” Germany’s Foreign Ministry has rejected the US request, saying that priority should be given to diplomatic efforts and to de-escalating tensions with Iran.
The US invited Germany, along with other European states, to join a military operation in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital maritime oil transit route, but the offer was rejected, with Berlin instead opting for a peaceful solution to ensure the safety of civilian ships.
Germany’s top diplomat said “there is no military solution” as the U.S. and Iran attempted to secure support for rival visions on how to secure the Strait of Hormuz.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany will not be taking part in a US-led mission to secure oil tanker ships sailing near Iran. The US ambassador in Berlin slammed the decision, saying Germany has responsibilities.
WARSAW (Sputnik) – Germany will not take part in the US-led mission to secure shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday.
Germany’s foreign minister says his country wants to avoid further escalation, will not take part in mission.
‘Germany will not take part in the sea mission presented and planned by the Untied States,’ says German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
Olaf Scholz says a US-led naval operation in the Strait of Hormuz is ‘not a good idea.’
The Europeans see risks of escalation in the conflict with Tehran, and they want to distance themselves from the U.S. policy of “maximum pressure.”
Britain on Thursday ruled out exchanging an Iranian tanker detained by Gibraltar for a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf.
ROYAL Navy frigate HMS Montrose has had 85 ‘interactions’ with Iranian forces in just 27 days of patrolling the Gulf, the warship’s captain has revealed.
The ship’s commanding officer says they have escorted British ships safely through the waterway more than 20 times in the past month.
During 27 days of patrolling the entrance to the Gulf, he had 85 “interactions with Iranian forces” which often led to “an exchange of warnings” over radio.
Latest Singapore News and Headlines, Top Stories and Alternative Perspectives.
LONDON — Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, is facing a maritime security standoff with Iran that could, if handled indelicately, spark conflict in the Persian Gulf region. At the center of the drama is the tit-for-tat seizure by Tehran of a British-flagged oil tanker transiting the Strait of Hormuz. As a result of decades of cuts, the Royal Navy has had a limited presence in the Middle East. Since the Falklands conflict in 1982 the number of warships in RN service (excluding coastal patrol vessels) has shrunk by 75 percent. Real defense spending in the U.K. has fallen to 1.8 per cent of GDP. Just nine frigates and destroyers are currently available for operational service, with 10 laid up or in refit. Delivering Britain’s exit from the E.U. on Oct. 31 is the very raison d’etre of Johnson’s administration; and it’s unclear where maritime security figures in his priorities. While opponents of Brexit claim the 2016 referendum result was a symptom of ‘Little England’ syndrome, driven in part by a dislike of foreigners and a desire to pull up the drawbridge over the Dover Strait, fervent supporters of divorcing the Brussels-based bloc argue instead for a new golden age of trade with the wider world. A renewed focus on far-flung opportunities will of course require commitment to, and investment in, a navy capable of safeguarding the freedom of navigation upon which global maritime trade depends, officials have said. Ex-prime minister Theresa May’s failure to win parliamentary approval for her E.U. withdrawal agreement, after two tortuous years of negotiations, led to her resignation as leader of the ruling Conservative Party in June and a two-horse race to replace her between pro-Brexit backbench MP Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who had previously campaigned to stay in the EU. The son of an admiral who commanded the amphibious ship HMS Intrepid in the mid-1970s and rose to Commander-in-Chief Fleet from 1985 to 1987, Hunt promised to boost the U.K.’s annual defense budget by $18.2 billion by 2023 – primarily to counter the growing Russian threat. On July 11 Hunt made a belated admission that cuts to the RN had been too severe and announced that, if he became prime minister, he would increase the number of warships and carrier-based jets. Hunt issued his remarks after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to seize tanker British Heritage in the Strait of Hormuz. The sole Royal Navy escort in the region, the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose, is thought to have trained a 30mm gun on the three Iranian boats, which retreated. Tehran said the attempted seizure was in retaliation for the detention in Gibraltar on July 4 of an Iranian tanker suspected of transporting oil to Syria in defiance of EU sanctions.
The U.S. Navy’s protection mission in the Strait of Hormuz will apply strictly to American shipping while regional partners will shoulder most of the responsibilities in the region, according to a Navy admiral.
THE US and Iran are heading towards an outbreak of war, according to military experts, after the US administration slapped key Tehran officials with sanctions.
THE European Union will ignore US sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by continuing to work with him in what is a major snub from Brussels to Donald Trump.
THE United States has warned Germany of their “global responsibilities” and raged “billions of dollars” are spent on American troops stationed there every year after being left furious by Angela Merkel’s refusal to take part in a mission to stamp out Iran’s aggression.
The United States on Tuesday ramped up pressure on Germany to join the U.S.-led endeavor to secure a strategic shipping waterway in the Persian Gulf in the face of rising tensions between Washington and Iran.
Berlin is unlikely to go along with an American- and British-led naval protection mission in the Strait of Hormuz, though politicians are leaving the door open for a European plan.
The US Department of Treasury introduced sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this week in what Steven Mnuchin has described as a “clear message” to Tehran that “its recent behaviour is completely unacceptable”.
The U.S. and its European allies must get ready to sweep mines, escort tankers, launch cyberattacks and, perhaps, sink Iranian ships.
John Bolton on Twitter: “Just went on air with @mariabartiromo, where we had a conversation on U.S. foreign policy, including the recent sanctions on Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif. https://t.co/R3kALMFJQz” / Twitter
The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The Trump administration announced Wednesday it will impose sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a move that comes amid escalating tensions between Tehran and the west and could erode an already fraught relationship.
The United States sanctioned Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Wednesday, following through on a weeks-old threat that is likely to elevate already heightened tensions with Iran.
Iran’s president mocked the “childish” U.S. sanctions targeting the regime’s foreign minister, saying the sanctions will be a barrier to diplomacy.
‘Instead of making empty and disingenuous offers, @SecPompeo can accept any of the many requests from Iranian reporters to interview US officials,’ the Iranian foreign minister tweeted.
Russia may support Iran in the “tanker war” in the Persian Gulf, which has forced the UK and US to transfer naval forces to the key oil extraction and transit region to escort tankers. The General Staff of Iran’s armed forces and the Russian Defense Ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of expanding their military cooperation, said Iranian Naval Commander Hossein Khanzadi following a three day visit to Russia. “This is the first document of this nature, which will become a turning point in the two countries’ military relations,” Khanzadi told the Mehr news agency. At present, Iran and Russia are preparing to hold joint exercises in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, including the Strait of Hormuz, a key artery for Middle Eastern oil companies through which passes one fifth of the world’s oil supply, from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq, as well as virtually all of Qatar’s LNG. Iran has repeatedly threatened to obstruct the strait if sanctions prevent Iran from trading oil on equal terms to other regional producers. In the middle of June, there were explosions on two tankers, incidents which the US considers Iran responsible for. In July, Iran seized a British tanker in response to the seizure of its own vessel in Gibraltar. According to Khanzadi, Moscow and Tehran’s military cooperation is not limited to the Persian Gulf. The countries are currently discussing increased cooperation and possible joint drills in the Caspian Sea. Russian naval vessels will arrive in Iran before the end of the year, Khanzadi said in April. In addition, Tehran is also expecting financial assistance from Moscow. Iran’s draft budget for the financial year starting on 21 March (the year 1398 according to the Persian calendar) includes a $5 billion loan from Russia. The funds are expected to be used on infrastructural projects, including nuclear energy, railway transport, and the building of dams, irrigation networks and water pipelines.
Germany’s foreign minister on Wednesday said the nation will not join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz led by the U.S.
Germany will not participate in a U.S.-led naval mission to secure the Strait of Hormuz, close to Iran, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday.
Germany will not participate in a U.S.-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz as it wants to ease tensions with Iran, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday.
The Trump administration plans to renew waivers that allow Iran to receive international aid for its civilian nuclear projects, sources said.
Trump sided with Mnuchin over Bolton and Pompeo and agreed to let Iranian nuclear programs continue
The administration’s Iran policy is taking a softer tone despite a push from some GOP lawmakers to expand its maximum pressure campaign.
The Trump administration is expected to extend waivers for countries in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to continue their participation in civil nuclear projects with Tehran, according to two administration officials.
The United States is set to announce this week it will renew sanctions waivers for five Iran nuclear programs that allow Russia, China and European countries to continue civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The U.S. embassy in Berlin criticized a German politician opposed to sending ships to the Strait of Hormuz, while Iran touted newfound ties with Russia and sought more Chinese support.
Oil tanker owners are finding a way to reduce the risks of navigating the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important — and lately most dangerous — energy chokepoint: vanish from global tracking systems.
Royal Dutch Shell is not taking any British-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions with Iran in the vital chokepoint for oil shipments.
BP Plc, the British oil giant that had to shelter one of its tankers in the Persian Gulf this month in fear it could be targeted by Iranian forces, is avoiding sending ships to the region after tensions flared between Tehran and London.
BP has not taken any of its oil tankers through the Strait of Hormuz since a July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels, the British company’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said on Tuesday.
UK said it is planning a European-led naval force to escort tankers through the world’s busiest oil shipping lane.
Britain’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar was illegal and will be detrimental for Britain, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, according to the official presidency website.
Envoys from UK, Germany, France, Russia, China and Iran met in Vienna to discuss how to salvage historic 2015 pact.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has met with representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China to discuss how to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world p…
An emergency meeting with parties to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal was constructive but there are unresolved issues and Tehran will continue to reduce its nuclear commitments if Europeans fail to salvage the pact, Iranian official Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday.
The meeting comes amid rising tensions in the Gulf and Iran’s decision to breach parts of the deal.
GERMANY has warned it will not help the UK fight the escalating conflict with Iran as long as it continues to seek support from the US.
As tensions in the Persian Gulf ratchet up, it’s not clear whether the Kurds and their allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces are willing—or able—to be a part of any U.S.-led war against Iran.
Iran’s health system can’t cope and many blame President Trump’s punitive campaign for staggering prices and shortages.
Video released Monday shows Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces warning a British warship not to interfere as they seized a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz earlier this month.
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
The U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fighter jets participated in maritime and surface warfare exercise in Arabian Gulf. According to a statement released by the U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Strike Eagles attached to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron participated in an air operations in maritime surface warfare integration exercise with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and a P-3 Orion in the Arabian Gulf. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night and in all weather. “This unit-level exercise reinforced integration of U.S. Air Force assets in support of U.S. Navy surface combatants,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adrian Willing, 609th Air Operations Center Master Air Attack Plan Cell planner. “This training reinforces the very real-world missions they are already conducting.” The F-15Es are based out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, while the USS Gonzalez is assigned to Commander Task Force-55 and the P-3C Orion is assigned to the CTF-57 based out of Bahrain. “The P-3C provides maritime domain awareness, can also function as a maritime air controller with long loiter times or employ its own weapons as required,” Willing said. “The USS Gonzalez is operating in the Arabian Gulf to guarantee international freedom of navigation.” While the scenarios were simulated, the team practiced real world tactics, techniques and procedures to execute joint interoperability in maritime air control and dynamic targeting. “By exercising the full operational process, we can identify and correct any issues that would slow or hinder rapid combat capability and seamless integration,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Benjamin Davidson, AFCENT Forces Division chief. “This builds a closer relationship between NAVCENT and AFCENT, that we can utilize when called upon to execute real-world operations. The improved lines of joint communication and coordination will further facilitate seamless execution during combat operations.” The demonstration of flexible and adaptable joint operations shows U.S. military forces are even stronger together and prepared to respond to contingencies and defend the U.S. forces and interests in the region. “This exercise demonstrated our ability to conduct operations in multiple domains simultaneously,” Davidson said. “When integrated properly, the combined strength of these assets is greater than their sum. We multiply the effects by creating increasingly complex challenges to the malign activities of our adversaries.
Oil prices fell on Monday as investors fretted over the outlook for global economic growth, while weekend talks between Iran and major powers ended on a generally positive note, suggesting an easing of tensions in the Middle East.
Oil prices rose on Monday as the prospect of an expected interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve overshadowed pessimism over U.S.-China trade talks and worries about slower global economic growth.
On 19 July, Israel attacked the Ashraf military base in Iraq, 80 kilometers from the Iran-Iraq border, reported the London-based news outlet …
London – Asharq Al-Awsat Israel has expanded the scope of its Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria, western diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat amid reports that Tel Aviv carried out an airstrike earlier this month against an Iranian rockets depot northeast of Baghdad. The July 19 attack was carried out by an Israeli F-35 fighter jet, they added. On Sunday, the Ashraf base in Iraq, a former base used by the Iranian opposition People’s Mujahedin of Iran, was targeted by an air raid, said sources. The base lies 80 kilometers from the border with Iran and 40 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. The sources revealed that the strikes targeted Iranian “advisors” and a ballistic missile shipment that had recently arrived from Iran to Iraq. Last week, Syria’s Tal al-Hara was struck by Israeli jets. The diplomatic sources said the attack targeted Iran’s attempt to seize control of the strategic hill, located in Daraa countryside in southern Syria.
The Israeli Air Force has reportedly started employing its cutting-edge F-35i ‘Adir’ stealth fighter jets to attack Iranian targets in Iraq. The London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, citing the anonymous Western diplomats, reported that Israel struck Iranian warehouses storing arms and missiles at Camp Ashraf, north-east of Baghdad, twice in the past month. Also added that on July 19, the base was struck by an Israeli F-35i ‘Adir’ fighter jet. The base was allegedly attacked again on Sunday. The report also notes that Iranian-made ballistic missiles had just been delivered to the base shortly before Israel’s attack. Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah terrorists were killed in the strike, according to Al-Arabiya. A second attack by Israel on Sunday targeted Iranian advisers and a ballistic missile shipment at Camp Ashraf northeast of Baghdad. The Israel Defence Forces representative refuses to comment on Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper report. This is not the first time that information has appeared in the press about the activity of Israeli F-35 jets. In mid-February, several media reported that Chinese-made JY-27 radar of the Syrian Air Defense at Damascus airport was destroyed by Israeli F-35i Adir fighter jets. The source was claimed that F-35i Adir fighter jet of the Israeli Air Force has destroyed Chinese design JY-27 radar of the Syrian Air Defense near Damascus International Airport on 20 January. Just as in the previous case, no concrete evidence had been provided.
I am not sure how Iran can possibly proclaim that the US is “afraid” of anything Iranian, but I guess it plays out to the Iranian public as… Iran is not a major superpower. Iran is not a powerful military. Iran is not… much of anything. I’m curious. What is Iran but a blowhard? </end editorial>
Refusing to join two multinational coalitions to secure civilian shipping thru the Strait of Hormuz, Germany on Wednesday reminded the world that it’s a poor ally.
The past few days have highlighted a key shortcoming in Germany’s foreign policy. Berlin’s response to the Iran crisis shows the country’s limited ability to act on the world stage, says DW’s Christian F. Trippe.
Safeguarding the world’s most important shipping lane will require an international effort.
The Navy wants to assure you that is not dispatching an entire fleet to the Strait of Hormuz a part of efforts to escort American commercial ships and has no plans on initiating a sequel to World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic with its Iranian adversaries.
A look at the post-9/11 war powers law that the Trump administration could use to justify conflict with Iran.
The Issue Iran is engaged in a soft war, or jang-e narm, with the United States. Iran uses formal and informal means to influence populations across the globe and has expanded its information campaign utilizing the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, cultural centers, universities, and charitable foundations. But Iran’s authoritarian political system and attempts to control access to information make it vulnerable to a U.S. and Western information campaign. Iran’s weaknesses suggest that a major component of U.S. competition with Tehran should be ideological.
They already know Tehran is mostly to blame for their economic suffering.
Trump could help the democracy movement while hurting the regime.
If the administration’s goal is regime change, they should come out and say it.
So far the Trump administration has been as dependable as a Rolex. When global actors threaten American interests, Trump takes notice. Washington then pressures with one hand and offers an off-ramp with the other.
The Trump administration called for help, but Washington\’s friends have shrugged and calculated it is safer to stay away from \”maximum pressure.\” There …
The current tensions in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz echo a millennium of warring interests.
As tensions heat up with Iran and North Korea over nuclear weapons, a majority of registered voters thinks the rogue nations pose a risk to the country’s safety.
These headlines have a familiar ring. In 1985, two days after my last final exam at the University of Utah, I was off to naval officer candidate school in Newport, Rhode Island. Eighteen months later, I was in the Persian Gulf, part of the U.S. Navy’s Operation Earnest Will, also called The Tanker War. As the bloody Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) stretched into its seventh year, both sides had resorted to anti-shipping campaigns in the Persian Gulf. The United States intervened militarily in 1987 to guarantee freedom of navigation. The U.S. strategy called for limited naval force short of war, known as gunboat diplomacy. At peak involvement, we had more than 30 ships in the region.
Mohammad Ali Najafi was arrested in May after turning himself in to the police and purportedly confessing to shooting his wife.
Iran’s health minister has come under fire by hard-liners for suggesting that religious mourning ceremonies lead to the spread of depression among Iranians.
I include the following article for two reasons. First, it is very informative about the culture inside Iran. It does an excellent job showing how the hardliner regime is effectively suppressing the women of Iran. It is not about the Quran, Hadiths, or Sunna, it is about an oppressive culture misinterpreted by Imams through fatwas and enforced by weak leaders. Why? Self preservation and the lack of moral fiber. Second, this article is written by Iranian resistance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The article is propaganda, but it is all factually correct. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the final paragraph. But why, when so many problems are plaguing Iran, are the mullahs focusing on women’s dress? Because their rule is reliant on the suppression of women and the Regime know[s] that women are leading the charge against them. They hope to scare these women, but it won’t work. The final paragraph is pure opinion. It is an interpretation of 90% of the article, which is almost pure facts. While I don’t disagree with the article, as a matter of fact I agree with everything in the article, I don’t see it as balanced. There seems to be no attempt to get the opinion of anyone associated with the Iranian government. Therein lies the rub. This is published on the website of the Iranian “resistance”. This article is well worth reading, if only for the sake of better understanding what is going on in Iran to 50% of the population. Notice the punishments meted out for such minor infractions. I am so glad I don’t live there. </end editorial