web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Strait of Hormuz"

Iran Says British Tanker Is Free to Go After 2 Months of Detention

Westlake Legal Group 19xp-tanker-facebookJumbo Iran Says British Tanker Is Free to Go After 2 Months of Detention United States International Relations Strait of Hormuz Iran

A British-flagged tanker that Iran seized in July is now free to leave, the Iranian government said on Monday, more than a month after British authorities released an Iranian tanker that had been detained off Gibraltar.

The news offered a rare hint of easing tensions, at a time when Iran has been in an escalating cycle of confrontation with its Persian Gulf neighbors and the United States.

Iran had accused the British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, of violating maritime regulations in the Strait of Hormuz, but the seizure on July 19 was widely seen as retaliation for the detention of the Iranian tanker.

The legal proceedings against the Stena Impero have concluded, and Iran has decided to waive alleged violations, an Iranian government spokesman, Ali Rabiyee, said at a news conference, according to Iranian and Western news agencies that were present.

The ship had not left the Bandar Abbas, a port in southern Iran, as of midday, and it was not clear how quickly it would set sail. Erik Hanell, chief executive of the tanker’s owner, the shipping company Stena Bulk, told SVT, a Swedish television station, that he hoped it would be a matter of hours.

Iran detained the 23-member crew along with the ship. It released seven of them earlier this month, but the others have remained with the vessel.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tom Cotton Says He Still Believes Iran’s Behavior Warrants a Retaliatory Strike

Westlake Legal Group tom-cotton-620x349 Tom Cotton Says He Still Believes Iran’s Behavior Warrants a Retaliatory Strike Tom Cotton Strait of Hormuz Resurgent Conference Iran Front Page Stories

A day after President Trump announced his intent to pull thousands of men and women out of Afghanistan, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) — who some critics suggest has a desire to see the U.S. back in a so-called “forever war” like Iraq and Afghanistan — took the stage Friday in Atlanta at the annual Resurgent Conference and discussed how to deal with Iranian aggression.

Cotton, who appeared at the behest of Atlanta-based radio host Erick Erickson, spent a few minutes sharing details of his book, “Sacred Duty” before being questioned by Erickson as to his opinion on recent moves by Iran to seize European oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.

“For understandable reasons, the president is practicing forbearance right now,” Cotton told Erickson, likening Trump’s restraint following Iran’s provocations to President Ronald Reagan’s during the 1980s while he also dealt with an increasingly belligerent Iran.

“But Reagan’s forbearance did not stop Iran. Iran is lashing out like this for the same reason they did in the 1980s: because they’re backed against a wall,” Cotton said.

The senator from Arkansas notably recently called on the U.S. to consider a retaliatory strike on Iran, who ramped up aggression in the Gulf after the U.S. pulled out of former president Obama’s Iran deal. Currently, oil tankers are reportedly intentionally masking their global tracking systems as they move through the Strait of Hormuz.

Britain, who had a tanker seized in the Strait last month, has ruled out a swap for an Iranian tanker they seized in Gibraltar they said were violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria. Tensions have run high for U.S. allies; however, Germany has indicated it will not join a U.S. led naval mission that seeks to secure tankers traveling near the Iranian coast.

Cotton indicated Friday he still believes Iran’s conduct warrants retaliatory strikes, and noted the increase in U.S. sanctions against Iran two months ago “really put [Iran] in the hurt locker.”

“Iran used to export 9 million barrels of oil a day…now they’re down to 100 thousand a month,” Cotton said.

The post Tom Cotton Says He Still Believes Iran’s Behavior Warrants a Retaliatory Strike appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group irgc-speed-boat-300x153 Tom Cotton Says He Still Believes Iran’s Behavior Warrants a Retaliatory Strike Tom Cotton Strait of Hormuz Resurgent Conference Iran Front Page Stories   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran’s Seizure of British Vessel Further Roils Gulf Region

LONDON — Iran seized at least one British oil tanker in a vital Persian Gulf waterway on Friday, a sharp escalation of tensions with the West that revived fears of a military clash, even as voices on both sides appeared to be seeking room for negotiations.

The impoundment of the tanker by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps naval patrols came a day after the United States said it had downed an Iranian drone menacing an American warship in the region.

But Iran’s standoff with Britain, in particular, carries its own complications. Britain occupies a pivotal place in a bloc of European states that have tried to broker some resolution to a broader conflict between Tehran and Washington over the fate of a 2015 deal with the world powers designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain convened an emergency meeting of advisers late Friday night to respond.

Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, said in a statement issued before the meeting that he was “extremely concerned” and called the seizure “unacceptable.”

At the time Mr. Hunt spoke, Iran had at least briefly detained a second British-owned ship, and Mr. Hunt said the meeting would address “what we can do to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels.” He noted that no British citizen had been among the crews.

“We’re not looking at military options; we’re looking at a diplomatic way to resolve the situation,” Mr. Hunt said later. “But we are very clear that it must be resolved.”

The United States Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. operations in the Middle East, said in a statement that “patrol aircraft in international airspace” were monitoring the Strait of Hormuz and the Navy was in contact with American ships in the area “to ensure their safety.”

The display of force by the Revolutionary Guards was publicly welcomed by hard-line Iranian officials. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose hostility toward Britain and the United States is well known, appeared to revel in the achievement of capturing the British vessel.

“The country’s proud defense capabilities are a result of the pressures and cutting ties with foreigners” during the era of Iran’s long war with Iraq in the 1980s, the ayatollah said in a post on social media.

He also appeared to encourage Iranians to persevere through the crippling economic sanctions that were imposed by the United States in May and set off the current escalation.

“The movement now to rely on only ourselves will yield important results including economically,” the ayatollah said.

Tensions between Britain and Iran spiked earlier this month when the British military impounded an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar on suspicion of having violated a European Union embargo on the sale of oil to Syria. Iran called the seizure “piracy,” accused Britain of acting on a pretext at the behest of Washington and threatened to capture a British ship in retaliation.

Iranian vessels first tried to stop a British tanker in the Persian Gulf region a few days later, on July 11. After a short standoff, an accompanying British warship drove them away.

But late Friday afternoon, Iranian news agencies reported that Revolutionary Guard seamen had indeed seized at least one British tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow Gulf waterway that is a critical conduit for maritime oil traffic.

The news agencies quoted the Guards as saying the tanker had “violated three international naval regulations,” including turning off a GPS locator, breaking the traffic pattern in the Strait of Hormuz and polluting the water by dumping crude oil residue.

“We asked the armed forces to guide this tanker to Bandar Abbas port so we can investigate further,” Allah Morad Anifipour, the head of Iran’s shipping and port organization, said, according to official Iranian accounts.

The ship’s owners reported that the Stena Impero, a 30,000-ton vessel bound for Saudi Arabia, had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”

Westlake Legal Group scoop-oil-tanker-attack-master-articleLarge Iran’s Seizure of British Vessel Further Roils Gulf Region Zarif, Mohammad Javad United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran

Why This Narrow Strait Next to Iran Is So Critical to the World’s Oil Supply

Twenty percent of the global oil supply flows past Iran through the Strait of Hormuz.

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north toward Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said in the statement.

The second tanker, at least temporarily detained, was the Mesdar, owned and operated by the Glasgow-based shipping firm Norbulk, but flying a Liberian flag. It too lost contact for a time, but Fars, the semiofficial Iranian news agency, reported that the Iranian authorities had only warned it to abide by environmental regulations.

It was unclear late Friday if the British authorities had confirmed the release of the second tanker.

At least one senior American military official on Friday appeared to play down the latest escalation by Iran, calling it a foreseeable response to the British seizure of the Iranian tanker near Gibraltar.

“They look for things that are proportional in nature,” Lt. Gen Robert P. Ashley Jr., the top military intelligence officer, said in a discussion with journalists at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. “They aren’t looking to go to war but at the same time they are looking to project strength,” he said.

The capture of the Stena Impero followed an increasingly heated exchange of threats between Iran and Washington, set off by the Trump administration’s attempts to scrap and renegotiate the 2015 nuclear accord, under which the United States and six other world powers, including Britain, promised Iran relief from economic sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.

After pulling out last year, President Trump in May imposed new sanctions that seek to block all exports of Iranian oil, the mainstay of its economy.

Denouncing the sanctions as “economic warfare,” Iran has sought to put pressure on Washington and its European allies by taking gradual steps to exceed its own commitments under the deal to dismantle and suspend its nuclear program.

Britain has so far continued to try to preserve the 2015 deal in defiance of the Trump administration. Along with the other European powers, Britain has largely accepted Iran’s position that its steps to restart its nuclear program are justified under the terms of the deal as responses to the reimposition of American sanctions.

Britain has even joined other Europeans in attempting to develop an alternative trading system that would allow Iran to bypass the U.S. sanctions.

But among the European powers, diplomats say, Britain is also the most skeptical of Iran and the most sympathetic to the White House. If Britain now chooses to re-impose its own sanctions on Iran, that would all but completely extinguish any hope of preserving the nuclear deal.

At the same time, the United States and its allies have accused Tehran of using naval mines to damage six ships in two attacks in the Persian Gulf, evidently in a tacit threat to the crucial oil shipping lanes that flow past Iran through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has denied carrying out those attacks but it boasted that it shot down an American surveillance drone last month.

Trump, in response, ordered a missile strike on Iran, only to call it off only minutes before launch.

On Thursday, a day before the capture of the British tanker, the United States said that it had brought down an Iranian drone that had come too close to an American amphibious assault ship. “The latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran,” Mr. Trump called it.

Iranian officials, however, refused to acknowledge that any of their drones were shot down. A “false claim rooted in Trump’s illusions,” Gen. Abolfazi Shekarchi was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.

While some voices on each side have continued to ratchet up the bluster, others have in recent days seemed to probe for paths out of the confrontation. Mr. Trump, sometimes sounding at odds with his more hawkish advisers, has repeatedly said he would be open to negotiations without preconditions. This week, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky offered himself as a mediator.

Iranian officials have offered their own olive branches. Speaking with American journalists in New York while attending a United Nations meeting, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared to seek to break the impasse by suggesting that Iran might submit to more comprehensive international inspections of its research facilities in exchange for a revival of the deal for sanctions relief.

The seizure of the British tanker on Friday, however, threatened to sideline such diplomacy, and other Iranian hard-liners celebrated it as a triumph.

“The Persian Gulf will always belong to us,” Morteza Avini, a conservative filmmaker who documents Iran’s conflicts, wrote on social media. The capture, he wrote, “means that even the United States and Britain must abide by the rules that we set. This means a powerful Iran.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Seizure of British Vessel Further Roils Gulf Region

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158176272_ab77ab5f-9c7e-46c7-80d5-9811ff551bf4-facebookJumbo Iran Seizure of British Vessel Further Roils Gulf Region Zarif, Mohammad Javad United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran

LONDON — Iran seized a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf on Friday, the latest confrontation in three months of escalating tensions between Iran and the West.

Britain’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that the Iranian authorities had also seized another tanker, adding that he was “extremely concerned” and that British officials were working “to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels.”

But Iran quickly disputed that account, saying that the second tanker “was not seized,” according to Fars, the nation’s semiofficial news agency.

Instead, it said, the second ship “was given a warning by Iran’s armed forces about observing environment regulations and safety precautions and it went on its way.”

The ship’s manager, Norbulk Shipping UK, said in a statement that the vessel “was boarded by armed personnel” on Friday, but that it was later released and allowed to continue its voyage. No one was injured, it said.

Mr. Hunt said the Iranian actions were “unacceptable,” adding, “It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region.”

He said the ships’ crews included “a range of nationalities, but we understand there are no British citizens on board either ship.” He said the British ambassador to Iran had been in communication with the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The seizure came a day after the United States said it had downed an Iranian drone in the area, which the Iranians denied, and after weeks of dispute between Britain and Iran over Britain’s seizure of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar. Iran had vowed to retaliate.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said the seized ship, the Stena Impero, had been impounded because it was “violating maritime rules and regulations.” Tasnim, an official Iranian news agency, reported that the tanker had turned off its GPS locator, was polluting the waters of the Persian Gulf, and had tried to enter the Strait of Hormuz in an area where most ships exit, creating the risk of an accident.

The ship’s owners issued a statement that the Stena Impero, which was heading for Saudi Arabia when it abruptly left international sea lanes, had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north toward Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said in the statement.

The United States’ most senior military intelligence officer, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., said on Friday that Iran was seeking to find an equivalent response to the seizure of an Iranian tanker by Britain earlier this month.

“They look for things that are proportional in nature,” General Ashley told reporters at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. “They aren’t looking to go to war but at the same time they are looking to project strength.”

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials denied that the American military had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a day after President Trump and Pentagon officials first made that announcement.

A spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said that the “unfounded claim” had been intended to increase tensions in the Persian Gulf, according to Tasnim, an official Iranian news agency.

The Strait of Hormuz has been the focal point of increasing tensions between Iran and the United States in recent months, after a series of incidents in the waterway, a narrow stretch through which a fifth of the world’s supply of oil flows.

Six tankers were damaged in May and June in the Gulf of Oman. The United States described the incidents as attacks by Iran, though Tehran denied any role.

On Thursday, Iranian media reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had detained a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The Revolutionary Guards said the vessel had been smuggling fuel, just days after a United Arab Emirates vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

Relations between Iran and the United States have been deteriorating since last year, when Mr. Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord and began imposing a series of punishing economic sanctions on Tehran.

The 2015 agreement had limited Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for economic relief. With the new sanctions battering Iran’s economy, Tehran set deadlines for the European signers of the deal to come up with a strategy to ease their impact.

Since early July, Iran has begun slowly reducing its compliance with the accord.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Seizes British Tanker in the Persian Gulf

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158176272_ab77ab5f-9c7e-46c7-80d5-9811ff551bf4-facebookJumbo Iran Seizes British Tanker in the Persian Gulf Zarif, Mohammad Javad United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran

LONDON — Iran seized a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf on Friday, the latest confrontation in three months of escalating tensions between Iran and the West.

Britain’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that the Iranian authorities had also seized another tanker, adding that he was “extremely concerned” and that British officials were working “to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels.”

But Iran quickly disputed that account, saying that the second tanker “was not seized,” according to Fars, the nation’s semiofficial news agency.

Instead, it said, the second ship “was given a warning by Iran’s armed forces about observing environment regulations and safety precautions and it went on its way.”

The ship’s manager, Norbulk Shipping UK, said in a statement that the vessel “was boarded by armed personnel” on Friday, but that it was later released and allowed to continue its voyage. No one was injured, it said.

Mr. Hunt said the Iranian actions were “unacceptable,” adding, “It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region.”

He said the ships’ crews included “a range of nationalities, but we understand there are no British citizens on board either ship.” He said the British ambassador to Iran had been in communication with the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The seizure came a day after the United States said it had downed an Iranian drone in the area, which the Iranians denied, and after weeks of dispute between Britain and Iran over Britain’s seizure of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar. Iran had vowed to retaliate.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said the seized ship, the Stena Impero, had been impounded because it was “violating maritime rules and regulations.” Tasnim, an official Iranian news agency, reported that the tanker had turned off its GPS locator, was polluting the waters of the Persian Gulf, and had tried to enter the Strait of Hormuz in an area where most ships exit, creating the risk of an accident.

The ship’s owners issued a statement that the Stena Impero, which was heading for Saudi Arabia when it abruptly left international sea lanes, had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north toward Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said in the statement.

The United States’ most senior military intelligence officer, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., said on Friday that Iran was seeking to find an equivalent response to the seizure of an Iranian tanker by Britain earlier this month.

“They look for things that are proportional in nature,” General Ashley told reporters at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. “They aren’t looking to go to war but at the same time they are looking to project strength.”

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials denied that the American military had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a day after President Trump and Pentagon officials first made that announcement.

A spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said that the “unfounded claim” had been intended to increase tensions in the Persian Gulf, according to Tasnim, an official Iranian news agency.

The Strait of Hormuz has been the focal point of increasing tensions between Iran and the United States in recent months, after a series of incidents in the waterway, a narrow stretch through which a fifth of the world’s supply of oil flows.

Six tankers were damaged in May and June in the Gulf of Oman. The United States described the incidents as attacks by Iran, though Tehran denied any role.

On Thursday, Iranian media reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had detained a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The Revolutionary Guards said the vessel had been smuggling fuel, just days after a United Arab Emirates vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

Relations between Iran and the United States have been deteriorating since last year, when Mr. Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord and began imposing a series of punishing economic sanctions on Tehran.

The 2015 agreement had limited Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for economic relief. With the new sanctions battering Iran’s economy, Tehran set deadlines for the European signers of the deal to come up with a strategy to ease their impact.

Since early July, Iran has begun slowly reducing its compliance with the accord.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Seizes Two Tankers in Persian Gulf, Britain Says

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158176272_ab77ab5f-9c7e-46c7-80d5-9811ff551bf4-facebookJumbo Iran Seizes Two Tankers in Persian Gulf, Britain Says Zarif, Mohammad Javad United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran

LONDON — Iran seized two ships in the Persian Gulf, the British government said Friday, in the latest episode in three months of escalating tensions between Iran and the West.

Britain’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that the Iranian authorities had seized “a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel” in the Strait of Hormuz. He added that he was “extremely concerned” and that British officials were working “to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels.”

Earlier Friday, Iran said it had seized a British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz, and the ship’s owner said it had lost contact with the vessel as it appeared to be heading toward Iran.

“These seizures are unacceptable,” Mr. Hunt said. “It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region.”

Mr. Hunt said the ships’ crews included “a range of nationalities, but we understand there are no British citizens on board either ship.” He said the British ambassador to Iran had been in communication with the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The seizure came a day after the United States said it had downed an Iranian drone in the area, which the Iranians denied, and after weeks of dispute between Britain and Iran over Britain’s seizure of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar. Iran had vowed to retaliate.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said the Stena Impero had been impounded because it was “violating maritime rules and regulations.”

The ship’s owners issued a statement that the Stena Impero had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north toward Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said in the statement.

The British Defense Ministry said it was urgently looking into what had happened to the Stena Impero, a 30,000-ton British-flagged ship, which was heading for Saudi Arabia when it abruptly left the international sea lanes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials denied that the American military had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a day after President Trump and Pentagon officials first made that announcement.

A spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said that the “unfounded claim” had been intended to increase tensions in the Persian Gulf, according to Tasnim, an official Iranian news agency.

The Strait of Hormuz has been the focal point of increasing tensions between Iran and the United States in recent months, after a series of incidents in the waterway, a narrow stretch through which a fifth of the world’s supply of oil flows.

Six tankers were damaged in May and June in the Gulf of Oman. The United States described the incidents as attacks by Iran, though Tehran denied any role.

On Thursday, Iranian media reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had detained a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The Revolutionary Guards said the vessel had been smuggling fuel, just days after a United Arab Emirates vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

Relations between Iran and the United States have been deteriorating since last year, when Mr. Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord and began imposing a series of punishing economic sanctions on Tehran.

The 2015 agreement had limited Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for economic relief. With the new sanctions battering Iran’s economy, Tehran set deadlines for the European signers of the deal to come up with a strategy to ease their impact.

Since early July, Iran has begun slowly reducing its compliance with the accord.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Seizes Two Tankers in Persian Gulf, Britain Says

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158176272_ab77ab5f-9c7e-46c7-80d5-9811ff551bf4-facebookJumbo Iran Seizes Two Tankers in Persian Gulf, Britain Says Zarif, Mohammad Javad United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran

LONDON — Iran seized two ships in the Persian Gulf, the British government said Friday, in the latest episode in three months of escalating tensions between Iran and the West.

Britain’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that the Iranian authorities had seized “a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel” in the Strait of Hormuz. He added that he was “extremely concerned” and that British officials were working “to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels.”

Earlier Friday, Iran said it had seized a British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz, and the ship’s owner said it had lost contact with the vessel as it appeared to be heading toward Iran.

“These seizures are unacceptable,” Mr. Hunt said. “It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region.”

Mr. Hunt said the ships’ crews included “a range of nationalities, but we understand there are no British citizens on board either ship.” He said the British ambassador to Iran had been in communication with the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The seizure came a day after the United States said it had downed an Iranian drone in the area, which the Iranians denied, and after weeks of dispute between Britain and Iran over Britain’s seizure of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar. Iran had vowed to retaliate.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said the Stena Impero had been impounded because it was “violating maritime rules and regulations.”

The ship’s owners issued a statement that the Stena Impero had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north toward Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said in the statement.

The British Defense Ministry said it was urgently looking into what had happened to the Stena Impero, a 30,000-ton British-flagged ship, which was heading for Saudi Arabia when it abruptly left the international sea lanes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials denied that the American military had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a day after President Trump and Pentagon officials first made that announcement.

A spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said that the “unfounded claim” had been intended to increase tensions in the Persian Gulf, according to Tasnim, an official Iranian news agency.

The Strait of Hormuz has been the focal point of increasing tensions between Iran and the United States in recent months, after a series of incidents in the waterway, a narrow stretch through which a fifth of the world’s supply of oil flows.

Six tankers were damaged in May and June in the Gulf of Oman. The United States described the incidents as attacks by Iran, though Tehran denied any role.

On Thursday, Iranian media reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had detained a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The Revolutionary Guards said the vessel had been smuggling fuel, just days after a United Arab Emirates vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

Relations between Iran and the United States have been deteriorating since last year, when Mr. Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord and began imposing a series of punishing economic sanctions on Tehran.

The 2015 agreement had limited Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for economic relief. With the new sanctions battering Iran’s economy, Tehran set deadlines for the European signers of the deal to come up with a strategy to ease their impact.

Since early July, Iran has begun slowly reducing its compliance with the accord.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Said to Seize British Tanker in Persian Gulf

Westlake Legal Group defaultPromoCrop Iran Said to Seize British Tanker in Persian Gulf Zarif, Mohammad Javad United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran

LONDON — Iran said Friday that it had seized a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, and the tanker’s owner said it had lost contact with the vessel as it appeared to be heading toward Iran. The British government said it was urgently seeking information about the incident.

The possible seizure of the ship, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz, was the latest in three months of escalating tensions between Iran and the West. It came a day after the United States claimed it had downed an Iranian drone in the area, which the Iranians denied.

Britain and Iran have been embroiled in a dispute for the past few weeks over Britain’s seizure of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar. Iran had vowed to retaliate.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said the Stena Impero had been impounded because it was “violating maritime rules and regulations.”

The ship’s owners issued a statement that the Stena Impero had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north toward Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said in the statement.

The British Defense Ministry said it was urgently looking into what happened to the Stena Impero, a 30,000-ton British-flagged ship, which was heading for Saudi Arabia when it abruptly left the international sea lanes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials denied that the American military had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a day after President Trump and Pentagon officials first made that claim.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Denies That U.S. Downed Its Drone in Strait of Hormuz

Westlake Legal Group 19IRAN-01-facebookJumbo Iran Denies That U.S. Downed Its Drone in Strait of Hormuz Zarif, Mohammad Javad United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran

Iranian officials on Friday denied that the American military had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a day after President Trump and Pentagon officials first made that claim.

A spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces, in rejecting Mr. Trump’s assertion, also said that the “unfounded claim” had been intended to increase tensions in the Persian Gulf, according to Tasnim, an official Iranian news agency.

Pentagon officials on Thursday said a small, uncrewed Iranian drone came within “threatening range” of a United States Navy ship in the strait, a strategic Persian Gulf waterway that has been a flash point in the simmering conflict between Tehran and Washington.

President Trump, during a ceremony in the White House on Thursday, said that the downing of the drone had been an act of self-defense and “the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran.”

Iranian officials provided a different narrative.

“Contrary to the false claim rooted in Trump’s illusions, all unmanned aerial vehicles (U.A.V.s) of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz have returned safely to their bases after completing their scheduled reconnaissance and patrol missions,” Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi said in a statement on Friday quoted by Tasnim and other Iranian news outlets.

Other Iranian officials offered similar statements, denying the loss of any Iranian drone in the area. On Thursday night — just hours after Mr. Trump made the claim of a downed drone — Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters at the United Nations that Tehran had “no information about losing a drone.”

Seyed Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said in a Twitter posting that, “We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else,” before adding that perhaps American forces had shot down their own drone.

The United States said the drone — a high-altitude Global Hawk unmanned aircraft — had stayed in international airspace.

Tehran maintained that the American drone had ventured into airspace eight miles off the country’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore that Iran claims as its territorial waters.

Sanam Vakil, who studies Iran at Chatham House, a research institute in London, said that while the conflicting accounts can be confusing, they are, in her view, part of a strategy by both Tehran and Washington.

Part of the Iranian strategy, she said, “is this policy of plausible deniability about everything, and they are employing it in many ways, whether it’s about the tankers or the missing ship or the drones.”

By employing aggressive rhetoric against Washington and denying a drone was downed, Tehran’s leaders have been able to shield themselves from the American claims while continuing to appear strong to the Iranian public.

“They have the ability to deny and deny and obfuscate everything, and it’s kind of working for them,” she said.

The Trump administration is also “playing in that space,” she added.

Tensions with the United States have simmered since last year, when President Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord and began imposing a series of punishing economic sanctions on Tehran.

The 2015 agreement had limited Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for the economic relief. With the new sanctions battering Iran’s economy, Tehran set deadlines for the European signers of the deal to come up with a strategy to ease their impact.

And since early July, Iran has begun slowly reducing its compliance with the accord.

Incidents in the Strait of Hormuz have only ratcheted up the pressure. Six tankers were damaged in May and June in the Gulf of Oman. The United States said the incidents were attacks by Iran, which Tehran has denied.

Hours before American officials said on Thursday that the United States had downed of the Iranian drone, the Iranian news media reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had detained a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

It said the vessel had been smuggling fuel, just days after a United Arab Emirates vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

But Mr. Zarif, Iran’s top diplomat, appeared to be taking steps ease the situation while visiting New York on Thursday.

Mr. Zarif proposed some modest concessions that Iran could offer as part of new talks between the United States on Iran. The proposal would accelerate a process laid out in the 2015 nuclear deal, scheduled for 2023, in which Iran would allow more intrusive inspections in the country by nuclear monitors.

Under that proposed agreement, the United States would lift the sanctions that President Trump reimposed on Iran last year.

Ms. Vakil, the Chatham House expert, said that the diplomat’s proposals were also part of the push and pull between Washington and Tehran.

“They are negotiating with each other but also threatening each other,” she said. “But it’s quite calibrated actually.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran: Drone? What drone?

Westlake Legal Group rouhani-araghchi Iran: Drone? What drone? The Blog Strait of Hormuz Iran drone donald trump

Did the USS Boxer shoot down an Iranian drone yesterday near the Strait of Hormuz? The US Navy says yes — but Iran says it hasn’t lost any of its drones. Instead, its deputy foreign minister suggested that the US Navy check its own stock:

Awww, he’s “worried” about our drone inventory. Isn’t that nice? The Iranians didn’t seem terribly worried about our drone health a month ago when they shot down one of ours flying in international waters. Who says our relationship isn’t improving?

On the other hand, they’re bragging about the drone that approached the USS Boxer, so it’s not as if the US Navy made up the incident. The IRGC plans to publish photos of the USS Boxer taken by the drone, and Iran promises the timing will prove them correct:

“All of (Iran’s) drones… have safely returned to their bases,” said armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi.

“There have been no reports of a confrontation with the American USS Boxer” naval vessel, he added, quoted by Tasnim news agency.

The Revolutionary Guards said they will “soon” publish photos taken by one of their drones of the USS Boxer.

Images were transmitted to base “before and even after the time Americans claim” the drone was destroyed, according to a statement on the force’s Sepahnews website.

So who’s lying here? Shekarchi is talking out of both sides of his mouth just in this statement. On one hand, he denies any “confrontation” with the US ship, and in the same breath brags about how close the drone got. That certainly sounds like a “confrontation” between hostile forces, even if one of the vessels was remotely operated.

Also, the Pentagon confirmed the president’s announcement shortly after it was made, telling reporters that the USS Boxer used electronic countermeasures rather than conventional weapons to destroy the drone. By the time that would have happened, the drone would have been close enough to take any number of photographs and transmit them back to their command center, so photos aren’t exactly proof either way. There wouldn’t be much reason to lie anyway; Trump’s not interested in another Middle East war, which is why he called off the retaliatory strike after Iran shot down our drone a month ago. Also, as Allahpundit noted last night, Trump didn’t announce this with MAGA-like bravado — he was clearly concerned about the incident.

Besides, it’s not as if the Iranians have a great track record of truth-telling. They finally got around to admitting yesterday that the ship they claimed to have “rescued” over the weekend is the same one they seized for alleged smuggling:

On Thursday, however, Iran acknowledged that it had seized a United Arab Emirates-based ship that was reported missing last weekend. The Panamanian-registered Riah was detained because it was suspected to be involved in smuggling, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced Thursday.

The UAE still hasn’t acknowledged that the ship belongs to them. However, Israeli-based analysts think Iran may be telling the truth about the Riah and smuggling, at least:

Analysts at the Israeli-based maritime risk analytics company Windward said that the Riah has been at sea for the past two years and has a pattern of turning off its location transmitters for days at a time, particularly when entering Iranian waters.

The firm said data suggests that for more than two years that the 58-meter (190-foot) Riah had been clandestinely receiving fuel from an unknown source off the UAE coast and delivering it to other tankers, which then take it to Yemen and Somalia.

No distress calls were made from the Riah, and no ship owner reported a missing vessel.

The ship’s registered owner, Dubai-based Prime Tankers LLC, told The Associated Press it had sold the vessel to another company, Mouj Al-Bahar. A man who answered a telephone number registered to the company told the AP it didn’t own any ships. Officials in the UAE said the ship was neither UAE-owned nor operated and carried no Emirati personnel.

This might be why the US, UK, and others in the region aren’t making a bigger stink about the seizure of the Riah. If no one is claiming ownership of over one million liters of crude oil floating around the Strait of Hormuz, it’s probably because no one legitimately owned it in the first place.

The post Iran: Drone? What drone? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group rouhani-araghchi-300x173 Iran: Drone? What drone? The Blog Strait of Hormuz Iran drone donald trump   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com