“I was the CIA director. We lied, We Cheated, We Stole”. – Mike Pompeo
It appears that Mike Pompeo has a hard time kicking his old habits. He appears to be as smug about lying as a CIA operative as he is as Secretary of State. Categorically blaming the Iranians for the recent oil attack tankers has left allies scratching their heads; and perhaps leaving foes thinking: “Thank God my enemy is so stupid”!
On June 13, 2019, as Ayatollah Khamenei was holding talks in Tehran with Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, two oil tankers carrying oil to Japan were attacked. As investigations into the incident were just beginning, Pompeo had already concluded his assessment and had it ready for the press. Much to the audible surprise of the world, and without any proof or supporting documents, he laid the blame firmly at Iran’s feet citing “intelligence”.
To his relief, in no time at all, US officials claimed that they had managed to get their hands on videos and pictures. They presented a grainy video alleging to show an Iranian navy boat removing mines from the damaged Japanese ship. It is easy to understand why the grainy video’s existence was necessary.
Precisely a month prior, on May 13th, four oil tankers were damaged in the region. The United States blamed Iran without any evidence. Saudi Arabia followed suit. The rest of the world was skeptical and doubts floated about the about the accuracy of US claims. This time around, Pompeo was saved by the video – although not for long! The Japanese vessel owner disputed the presence of mines damaging his vessel (as suggested in the blurry video).
Even allies were skeptical. To enforce its position and allegations against Iran, the Trump administration made its argument based on misinterpreting what Iran had said about the oil embargo. Following Trump’s announcement on April 22nd that America would not renew US waivers for countries which imported oil from Iran, in essence, imposing an oil embargo, on April 25the Iranian government retorted by condemning America’s illegal demands and stated that no other country could take its share of the oil market.
The Trump team would like us to believe that what Iran meant was the sabotage of the oil tankers. This is far from true. Iran was referring to its legal right under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which legally allows it to impede the passage of oil shipments through its territorial waters – the Strait of Hormuz.'
Read more: Mike Pompeo Has a Hard Time Kicking Old Habits