T Nation

Iranian ship fires on cargo ship


#1

Iranian boat fires across and captures ship


#2

‘Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Iranian patrol vessels have fired warning shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris as it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz in Iranian territorial waters.’

I wonder why the ship was in Iranian waters??


#3

The US has a treaty obligation to protect the Marshall Islands. So this might as well be considered to be a US flagged vessel that was just boarded. This is our opportunity to decisively take care of the Iranians. But what will most likely happen is President Obama will give the Iranians a great propaganda victory by humiliating the US.


#4

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
‘Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Iranian patrol vessels have fired warning shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris as it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz in Iranian territorial waters.’

I wonder why the ship was in Iranian waters??

[/quote]

Hmmm. One part Lusitania, two parts Gulf of Tonkin…

Wonder what sort of cargo the ship was carrying.


#5

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The US has a treaty obligation to protect the Marshall Islands. So this might as well be considered to be a US flagged vessel that was just boarded. This is our opportunity to decisively take care of the Iranians. But what will most likely happen is President Obama will give the Iranians a great propaganda victory by humiliating the US. [/quote]

You did read the part about the vessel being in Iranian waters didn’t you?


#6

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
‘Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Iranian patrol vessels have fired warning shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris as it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz in Iranian territorial waters.’

I wonder why the ship was in Iranian waters??

[/quote]

Hmmm. One part Lusitania, two parts Gulf of Tonkin…

Wonder what sort of cargo the ship was carrying.[/quote]

I’d be on board if Hilary was POTUS, but I think Obama is too much of a pussy to pull off something like this.

LBJ was a lot of things, but pussy was certainly not one of them.


#7

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The US has a treaty obligation to protect the Marshall Islands. So this might as well be considered to be a US flagged vessel that was just boarded. This is our opportunity to decisively take care of the Iranians. But what will most likely happen is President Obama will give the Iranians a great propaganda victory by humiliating the US. [/quote]

There are conflicting reports. CNN as of 7 hours ago reported the ship as US flagged. Then again, CNN also reported the name of the ship as Maersk Kensington instead of Maersk Tigris. Reuters as of something like 16 hours ago reported the ship was Marshall Islands flagged.

I wonder in what way you mean “decisively take care of” the Iranians?

Most recent news is from the Telegraph–Marshall Islands flag, traveling from Saudi Arabia to Dubai.


#8

What bothers me is the ridiculous move by Iran. It is definitely provocative, and it is definitely reaffirming my thoughts that they just don’t fucking care and we should seriously looking at the nuclear talks going on here.

The Iranians are flouting an international agreement of maritime law that allows ships to traverse the territorial waters of Iran as they are entering the Strait of Hormuz (which the Iranians threatened to close off a few years ago if you recall).

The Telegraph is speculating that Iran may not have full control of all its naval units.


#9

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The US has a treaty obligation to protect the Marshall Islands. So this might as well be considered to be a US flagged vessel that was just boarded. This is our opportunity to decisively take care of the Iranians. But what will most likely happen is President Obama will give the Iranians a great propaganda victory by humiliating the US. [/quote]

You did read the part about the vessel being in Iranian waters didn’t you? [/quote]

That is not true. The ship has a transponder that shows it wasn’t in Iranian waters when it was seized. The Iranians have a history of arbitrarily extending their territorial claims and snatching people and dragging them back into their territory.

I forgot where I read it but there is a UN resolution that basically says that ships are to be allowed to travel through the straight of Hormuz unmolested as long as they are underway and not loitering.


#10

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The US has a treaty obligation to protect the Marshall Islands. So this might as well be considered to be a US flagged vessel that was just boarded. This is our opportunity to decisively take care of the Iranians. But what will most likely happen is President Obama will give the Iranians a great propaganda victory by humiliating the US. [/quote]

There are conflicting reports. CNN as of 7 hours ago reported the ship as US flagged. Then again, CNN also reported the name of the ship as Maersk Kensington instead of Maersk Tigris. Reuters as of something like 16 hours ago reported the ship was Marshall Islands flagged.

I wonder in what way you mean “decisively take care of” the Iranians?

Most recent news is from the Telegraph–Marshall Islands flag, traveling from Saudi Arabia to Dubai.[/quote]

What I mean is the Iranians keep threatening to shut the straight of Hormuz. Now that they have gone and gotten stupid with us, it’s a golden opportunity to eliminate the Iranian navy and if their air force tries to get in the way eliminate that too.


#11

It looks like I was correct in my initial analysis that Obama’s response to this act of aggression would be a humiliating retreat. This won’t be the first time that the US was obligated to defend another country and Obama refused to act. At this point Obama is doing irreparable damage to this nation’s international standing.

While details remain sketchy about the incident, Iranian patrol craft forcibly stopped and boarded a merchant ship under flag of the Marshall Islands. The incident raises two questions?what triggered it and what, if any, responsibility the U.S. may have, under its treaty with the Marshall Islands, to respond to this act of Iranian aggression.

What is known is that on April 28, the container ship Maersk Tigris was transiting north in the Strait of Hormuz, between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the Arabian Sea. It was headed for the port of Jebel Ali, located southwest of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates when the Iranian patrol boats approached.

The Tigris was ordered to undertake a course change that would cause it to enter deeper into Iranian territorial waters. (While the Strait of Hormuz lies inside Iran?s territorial waters, ships regularly transit it as an openly recognized international shipping lane under the principle of ?innocent passage.?)

When the ship?s master refused to alter course, the boats fired a shot across the ship?s bow. The unarmed Tigris immediately sent out a distress call before stopping and being boarded by the Iranians.

The U.S. Navy destroyer Farragut was dispatched in response to the distress call and ordered to locate Tigris. However, by the time Farragut arrived near the location, the Iranians had already led the merchant ship deeper into Iranian waters, near Larak Island. Tigris is now in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. No Americans are known to be among the 30-plus crewmembers.

There seems to be a dispute as to whether, while transiting through Iranian waters, Tigris was on the internationally recognized shipping lane course or had veered off. Defense experts who tracked the transit support the former.

The Iranian navy has historically had navigational problems while seeking to create international incidents. In March 2007, fifteen British sailors and marines were patrolling Shatt al Arab?a long disputed waterway between Iraq and Iran?when they were seized by the Iranian navy. Claiming the Brits were in their territorial waters, the Iranians initially provided coordinates squarely putting the alleged trespassers on the Iraqi side. After the Brits pointed this out, the Iranians ?re-calculated? the position, providing coordinates inside Iranian waters.

Iran?s motivation for this 2007 international incident was to draw attention away from its nuclear arms program. Undoubtedly, political motivation is again at play. As a nation state unable to act as a responsible member of the international community, Iran leaves us hard-pressed to understand its exact motivation for this action. We are left to ponder whether this, again, is an effort to take the focus off nuclear issues or, this time, to placate Tehran?s hardliners in the aftermath of Iran?s embarrassment in losing a face-off with U.S. warships that prevented an Iranian convoy from delivering war materials to Yemeni rebels a week earlier.

But, regardless of motivation, the remaining issue is what responsibilities this act of aggression by the Iranians triggers on the part of the U.S. based on its 1986 treaty with the Marshall Islands.

The U.S. took administrative control over the Marshall Islands following Japan?s defeat in 1945. When the Islands became independent in 1986, a treaty with the U.S., known as the Compact of Free Association, became effective, amended in 2004. The U.S. became responsible for the national security and defense of the Marshall Islands which, in turn, agreed not to undertake acts incompatible with those responsibilities.

Thus, it is clear the U.S. is required to act on behalf of the defenseless Marshall Islands. But, apparently, Obama?s Pentagon is rejecting President Teddy Roosevelt?s policy to ?speak softly and carry a big stick? in order to ?say nothing and carry no stick? as it believes otherwise.

As CBS News reports, ?Pentagon lawyers have determined US has no obligation to come to the defense of a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel at sea.?

The Charge d?Affairs for the Marshall Islands Embassy in Washington, Junior Aini, disagrees with the Pentagon lawyers. He made clear the only option for his country is for the U.S. to act as required by the treaty.

This brings yet another possible motivation for Iran?s action.

In two weeks, Obama is to meet with regional Middle East leaders to let them know the U.S. will not abandon them. The mullahs may well see this incident as an opportunity to totally undermine Obama?s effort by showing he will not even act to protect the Marshall Islands? security interests.

This action by the Iranians serves to ?throw down the gauntlet? as it directly challenges Obama?s declared mission of the U.S. warships sent last week to patrol off of Yemen. As White House spokesman Josh Earnest reported on April 21, the ?principal goal of this operation is to maintain freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea?this is a clear statement about our commitment to ensuring the free flow of commerce in this important region of the world.?

The Iranians recognize Obama has a tendency to declare ?retractable? red lines. Iran?s actions in seizing the merchant ship Tigris is most likely yet another effort to prove to America?s regional allies they need to consider whether their own national security interests are similarly retractable by Obama.

Iranian irresponsibility in acting has given rise to U.S. irresponsibility in not acting.

Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling over in his grave.


#12

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#13

They’ve been telling us for years that Iran is this “young nation,” where everyone wants cell phones and more freedom. Is this like total bullshit?

Is “The East” always going to be the enemy of “the West?”


#14

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
They’ve been telling us for years that Iran is this “young nation,” where everyone wants cell phones and more freedom. Is this like total bullshit?

Is “The East” always going to be the enemy of “the West?”[/quote]

No it’s not total BS.

It’s true of the Iranian population as a whole.

It is NOT true for the Iranian Leadership.

Mufasa


#15

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
They’ve been telling us for years that Iran is this “young nation,” where everyone wants cell phones and more freedom. Is this like total bullshit?

Is “The East” always going to be the enemy of “the West?”[/quote]

Most of the people wielding influence in the 80s are still in power now. The regime is old, and the population is young. Violent uprisings are not an easy thing to accomplish. Iranians do want more freedom, but don’t want outsiders dictating the terms as had happened in the past.

Tangentially, the young population is aging because young people are not having children. Part modernization, part lack of opportunities to provide for a family.

Your second question is too broad for a short post, and Iran isn’t representative of the east or the west. Although, many middle eastern countries (Iran, Turkey, Egypt) may very well start looking more to the East as they want to be beneficiaries of China’s development plans for the region and Asia in general.


#16

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
They’ve been telling us for years that Iran is this “young nation,” where everyone wants cell phones and more freedom. Is this like total bullshit?

Is “The East” always going to be the enemy of “the West?”[/quote]

There is a lot of disinformation about Iran. ie The CIA overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh is pretty much gospel. What never gets mentioned is his predecessor Razmara was assassinated by the ayatollah Kashani so he could install Mossadegh as PM. So much for democracy.

The Ayatollahs have been willing to use violence in order to seize and maintain power there for a long time. So Iran does not have a history of democracy and the Ayatollahs are not going to go down again without a fight. If they get their hands on nuclear weapons they are liable to use them on anyone including their own people.


#17

[quote]Sifu wrote:

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
They’ve been telling us for years that Iran is this “young nation,” where everyone wants cell phones and more freedom. Is this like total bullshit?

Is “The East” always going to be the enemy of “the West?”[/quote]

There is a lot of disinformation about Iran. ie The CIA overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh is pretty much gospel. What never gets mentioned is his predecessor Razmara was assassinated by the ayatollah Kashani so he could install Mossadegh as PM. So much for democracy.

[/quote]

Huh?

Mosaddeq was appointed Prime Minister by the Shah after being nominated by the Iranian parliament in a 79-12 vote. He was wildly popular, which is why he replaced Razmara’s successor, Hossein 'Ala, after only one month.

Are you implying that Ayatollah Kashani influenced seventy-nine members of Parliament to vote for his man?

Are you implying that Operation Ajax was NOT orchestrated by CIA and MI6?

Are you implying that Razmara WAS “democratically elected”?


#18

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

Are you implying that Operation Ajax was NOT orchestrated by CIA and MI6?

[/quote]

read it again, he didn’t say that.

But anyway, in the 17th Century the British helped the Iranians push the Ottomans out of Iran. I think it was called Persia back then though. No good deed ever goes unpunished. The Iranian government has selective memory when it comes to the West. And their # 1 trading partner Russia, who used to occupy what is now their capital after all the other imperial powers left. No hard feelings about that, though. The West gets no credit for helping negotiate a treaty which forced the Soviets to withdraw.


#19

[quote]BPCorso wrote:
part lack of opportunities to provide for a family.[/quote]

That’s logical, but it hasnt stopped any of the poor people in this country from having kids.


#20

[quote]Gkhan wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

Are you implying that Operation Ajax was NOT orchestrated by CIA and MI6?

[/quote]

read it again, he didn’t say that.

But anyway, in the 17th Century the British helped the Iranians push the Ottomans out of Iran. I think it was called Persia back then though. No good deed ever goes unpunished. The Iranian government has selective memory when it comes to the West. And their # 1 trading partner Russia, who used to occupy what is now their capital after all the other imperial powers left. No hard feelings about that, though. The West gets no credit for helping negotiate a treaty which forced the Soviets to withdraw.
[/quote]

Ahem. Notice the “Anglo-” prefix, as well as FDR’s response to Iranian pleas.