“…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it.”
– Brookings Institution, “Which Path to Persia?” 2009
For the second time since the United States unilaterally withdrew from the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal, Western reports of “suspected attacks” on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have attempted to implicate Iran.
The London Guardian in an article titled, “Two oil tankers struck in suspected attacks in Gulf of Oman,” would claim:
Two oil tankers have been hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman and the crews evacuated, a month after a similar incident in which four tankers in the region were struck.
The article also claimed:
Gulf tensions have been close to boiling point for weeks as the US puts “maximum economic pressure” on Tehran in an attempt to force it to reopen talks about the 2015 nuclear deal, which the US pulled out of last year.
Iran has repeatedly said it has no knowledge of the incidents and did not instruct any surrogate forces to attack Gulf shipping, or Saudi oil installations.
The Guardian would admit that “investigations” into the previous alleged attacks in May carried out by the UAE found “sophisticated mines” were used, but fell short of implicating Iran as a culprit.
The article would note US National Security Advisor John Bolton would – without evidence – claim that Iran “was almost certainly involved.”
All Too Convenient
This news of “attacked” oil tankers near the Stait of Hormuz blamed by the US on Iran – comes all too conveniently on the heels of additional steps taken by Washington to pressure Iran’s economy and further undermine the Iranian government.
The US just recently ended waivers for nations buying Iranian oil. Nations including Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China, and India will now face US sanctions if they continue importing Iranian oil.
Coincidentally, one of ships “attacked” this week was carrying “Japan-related cargo,” the Guardian would report.
Also convenient was the US’ recent designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) just ahead of this series of provocations attributed to Iran.
AP in a May 2019 article titled, “President Trump Warns Iran Over ‘Sabotaged’ Oil Tankers in Gulf,” would claim:
Four oil tankers anchored in the Mideast were damaged by what Gulf officials described as sabotage, though satellite images obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday showed no major visible damage to the vessels.
Two ships allegedly were Saudi, one Emirati, and one Norwegian. The article also claimed:
A U.S. official in Washington, without offering any evidence, told the AP that an American military team’s initial assessment indicated Iran or Iranian allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.
The U.S. already had warned ships that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the region. America is deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged, still-unspecified threats from Tehran.
This more recent incident will likely be further exploited by the US to continue building up its military forces in the region, applying pressure on Iran, and moving the entire globe closer toward war with Iran.
The US has already arrayed its forces across the Middle East to aid in ongoing proxy wars against Iran and its allies as well as prepare for conventional war with Tehran itself.
All of this amounts to a renewed push toward a more direct conflict between the United States and Iran after years of proxy war in Syria Washington-backed forces have decisively lost.
It is also a continuation of long-standing US foreign policy regarding Iran put into motion over a decade ago and carried out by each respective presidency since.
Washington’s Long-Standing Plans
Continued sanctions and the elimination of waivers are part of Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the “Iran Nuclear Deal.” The deal was signed in 2015 with the US withdrawing in 2018.