by Stephen Lendman
Both nations partner in high crimes against peace and the sovereign rights of independent nations unwilling to bend to their will.
Britain shares guilt with US political, economic, financial, and belligerent crimes against humanity — what rogue state actions are all about.
On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif denounced Britain as “an accessory” to US “economic terrorism,” adding:
“Unlike (UK maritime) piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold international maritime rules” — referring to the IRGC’s Friday interdiction of the UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker.
Its forces impounded the vessel for provocatively breaching the right of “innocent passage” in Iranian Hormuz Strait territorial waters — a UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) violation.
“It is Iran that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz,” Zarif added. Hostile actions by the US, UK, and their imperial partners breach security worldwide by violating the rights of other nations.
Iran’s IRGC stressed that the UK-flagged vessel was impounded on Friday for failing to respect “international maritime rules.”
Citing Iranian authorities, Press TV reported that “the (seized) British oil tanker…was involved in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat and ignored its distress call before capture.”
Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization head Allah-Morad Afifipoor said the UK tanker “collided with a fishing boat on its route and, according to law, after an accident it is necessary that the causes are investigated.”
The UK tanker ignored its obligation. The incident had earmarks of a flagrant US/UK provocation, pushing Iran to respond as a pretext for whatever their intentions are.
Ruling regimes of both countries up to no good, notably their hostile policies toward Iran and other sovereign independent states.
On Saturday, IRGC spokesman General Ramezan Sharif said a UK warship shadowing the Stena Impero tanker attempted to stop Iranian naval forces from taking control of the vessel.
Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev warned that Britain and the US may use the Stena Impero incident as a pretext for belligerence against Iran, adding:
“It is clear that Britain will never recognize the right of other countries to treat it the same way as it treats them.” The same clearly goes for the US, demanding other nations salute and obey its demands.
Chances for improved relations between Iran and the West are virtually nil — especially not with the US and Britain, both countries provoking Tehran by their hostile actions.
On Friday, Putin expressed concern about possible US/UK hostilities against Iran, saying:
“This worries us because this is happening near our borders. This may destabilize the situation around Iran, affect some countries with which we have very close relations, causing additional refugee flows on a large scale plus substantially damage the world economy as well as the global energy sector.”
“We would welcome any improvement when it comes to relations between the US and Iran. A simple escalation of tension will not be advantageous for anyone. It seems to me that this is also the case with the US.”
Clearly he knows that US/UK hostility toward Iran since breaking free from their imperial grip won’t change — notably because of its hydrocarbon riches Big Oil wants control over.
On Saturday, Russia, France and Germany called on London and Tehran to deescalate tensions after Friday’s incident.
It was a US/UK provocation like numerous others in recent weeks, Iran falsely blamed for their hostile actions.
The ball is in their court to resolve. They breached international maritime law, not Iran.
A vital first step is releasing Iran’s Grace 1 supertanker, Britain’s seizure a flagrant act of maritime piracy.
Key also is cessation and reversal of unlawful US sanctions, other provocative actions, and hostile rhetoric — what clearly isn’t forthcoming.
Iran fully complies with its international law obligations. Britain, the US, and other Western nations flagrantly breached theirs time and again.
As long as their hostile policies toward Iran continue, stepping back from the brink of possible belligerent confrontation may be unattainable.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at [email protected].
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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.
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