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The current time is Mon Aug 19 15:33:42 2019

Utopia Talk / Politics / Tanker wars 2.0
Fri Jul 26 10:31:26
Please summarize the others position before we embark on chapter 3 of the Tanker Wars 2.0.
Sat Jul 27 00:36:26
am i the only one who doesn't know what nim is talking about?
Sat Jul 27 01:53:49
I don’t know but maybe Nim wants you to summarize Jergul’s and Seb’s position on the Tanker War.

I dunno about the Chapter 3 thing though. Maybe a chapter is a thread? So Chapter 3 is the third thread about the tankers.
Sat Jul 27 05:40:39
It is the the third thread of the second tanker war, the first one being during the Iran Iraq war.
Tue Jul 30 06:40:49
Still the tankers have not been released.



Someone please make sense of this! This thread will not fill itself up!
Anarchist Prime
Tue Jul 30 10:27:25
Tanker Seizures and the Threat to the Global Economy from Resurgent Imperialism 278

27 Jul, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig

The British seizure of the Iranian tanker off Gibraltar was illegal. There is no doubt of that whatsoever. The Iranian response to the seizure of its tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar, by the seizure of a British Tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, was also illegal, though more understandable as a reaction. The implications for the global economy of the collapse of the crucial international law on passage through straits would be devastating.

It may seem improbable that the UK and or France would ever seek to close the Dover Strait, but in the current crazed climate it is no longer quite impossible to imagine the UK seeking to mess up access to Rotterdam and Hamburg. It is still easier to imagine them seeking to close the Dover Strait against the Russian Navy. Yet the essential freedom of navigation through the Kerch strait, respected by Russia which controls it, is necessary to the survival of Ukraine as a country. For Turkey to close the Bosphorus would be catastrophic and is a historically recurring possibility. Malaysia and Indonesia would cause severe dislocation to Australia and China by disrupting the strait of Malacca and the Suharto government certainly viewed that as an advantage from which it should have the right to seek to benefit, and was a continued nuisance in UN Law of the Sea discussions. These are just a few examples. The US Navy frequently sails through the Taiwan Strait to assert the right of passage though straits.

Keeping the Strait of Hormuz open is perhaps the most crucial of all to the world economy, but I hope that the above examples are sufficient to convince you that the right of passage through straits, irrespective of territorial waters, is an absolutely essential pillar of international maritime law and international order. The Strait of Gibraltar is vital and Britain has absolutely no right to close it to Iran or Syria. If the obligation on coastal states to keep maritime straits open were lost, it would lead to economic dislocation and even armed conflict worldwide.

Part III of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea relates entirely to passage through straits.

Please note that the right of passage through straits is here absolute, in a UN Convention which is one of the base blocks of international law. It does not state that the right to transit through straits can be subject to any sanctions regime which the coastal state chooses to impose; indeed it is clearly worded to preclude such coastal state activity. Nor can it be overridden by any regional grouping of which the coastal state is a member.

Jeremy Hunt’s statement to parliament that the Iranian tanker had “freely navigated into UK territorial waters” was irrelevant in law and he must have known that. The whole point of passage through straits is that it is by definition through territorial waters, but the coastal state is not permitted to interfere with navigation.

It is therefore irrelevant whether, as claimed by the government of the UK and their puppets in Gibraltar, the tanker was intending to breach EU sanctions by delivering oil to Syria. There is a very strong argument that the EU sanctions are being wilfully misinterpreted by the UK, but ultimately that makes no difference.

Even if the EU does have sanctions seeking to preclude an Iranian ship from delivering Venezuelan oil to Syria, the EU or its member states have absolutely no right to impede the passage of an Iranian ship through the Strait of Gibraltar in enforcement of those sanctions. Anymore than Iran could declare sanctions against Saudi oil being delivered to Europe and close the Straits of Hormuz to such shipping, or Indonesia could declare sanctions on EU goods going to Australia and close the Malacca Strait, or Russia could declare sanctions on goods going to Ukraine and close the Strait of Kerch.

There are two circumstances in which the UK could intercept the Iranian ship in the Strait of Gibraltar legally. One would be in pursuance of a resolution by the UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. There is no such resolution in force. The second would be in the case of a war between the UK and Iran or Syria. No such state of war exists (and even then naval blockade must be limited by the humanitarian measures of the San Remo Convention).

What we are seeing from the UK is old fashioned Imperialism. The notion that Imperial powers can do what they want, and enforce their “sanctions” against Iran, Syria and Venezuela in defiance of international law, because they, the West, are a superior order of human being.

The hypocrisy of arresting the Iranian ship and then threatening war when Iran commits precisely the same illegal act in retaliation is absolutely sickening.

Finally, there will no doubt be the usual paid government trolls on social media linking to this article with claims that I am mad, a “conspiracy theorist”, alcoholic or pervert. It is therefore worth pointing out the following.

was for three years the Head of the Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I was Alternate Head of the UK Delegation to the UN Preparatory Commission on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. I both negotiated, and drafted parts of, the Protocol that enabled the Convention to come into force. I was the Head of the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre and responsible for giving real time political and legal clearance, 24 hours a day, for naval boarding operations in the Gulf to enforce a UN mandated embargo. There are very few people alive who combine both my practical experience and theoretical knowledge of precisely the subject here discussed.


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large member
Thu Aug 01 19:12:20
Iran has multiple security arrangements with Oman and impounded a UK ship in Omani waters based on security concerns (technically, it instructed a British ship to sail to Iranian waters were it was boarded).

In effect, Iran has mirrored UK behavior off Gibraltar.

I agree with your source, though feel he is overstating the illegal aspect.

What the UK did using neo colonial cronyism (technically, a tiny clique in a minute overseas territory are responsible - and not the UK) was simply to assert domestic law over areas that are generally regulated by international law.

And Iran did the same.
large member
Thu Aug 01 19:26:40
"Britain’s intelligence services MI6 and GCHQ are checking whether Iran used Russian GPS “spoofing” technology, which produces incorrect location data, to send the British-flagged Stena Impero off course into Iranian waters.

According to British media, the UK’s intelligence services think Iran might have used cyber penetration to send the ship off course into Iranian waters, thus giving the IRGC an excuse to seize it."

Seems a bit convoluted as the ship could just as well have been obeying Iranian directions to enter Iranian waters.

But at least the fiction of it being boarded outside of Iranian waters has been put to rest.
Fri Aug 02 00:30:39

Gibraltar territorial waters aren't in the strait. The strait is Spanish / morrocan waters. And the ship wasn't transiting, it had arranged a port stop (indeed that's what appears to be part of the issue).
large member
Fri Aug 02 03:55:07
You can make it part of the issue if you want to redefine the boundaries between domestic and international law.

International law allows for domestic juristiction on ships in port or just leaving port (under hot pursuit principles)

What we are actually seeing here is a continued shift in jurisdiction. It fits a general trend with d2p without a UN mandate, US universal jurisdiction principles in the economic field, anti piracy legislation, WTO, the Iranian nuclear deal, and open ended unilateral sanction regimes without a UN mandate.

I will not harp on what a terrible idea those things are.

But you seem to grasp it when it impacts UK interests. So maybe there are lessons to be learned here.

The fact here is that Iran is simply mirroring the UK as best it can. And it did a pretty damned good job.
large member
Sun Aug 04 06:16:51
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian forces seized a foreign oil tanker in the Gulf that was smuggling fuel to Arab states and has detained seven crewmen, Iran’s state media reported on Sunday.

The vessel was intercepted near Iran’s Farsi Island in the Gulf, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said. Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV station reported that it was seized on Wednesday.

“The IRGC’s naval forces have seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries,” state television quoted Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Ramezan Zirahi as saying.

It was carrying 700,000 liters of fuel, he said. Seven crewmen of different nationalities were detained.

“The seizure of the oil tanker was in coordination with Iran’s judiciary authorities and based on their order,” Fars quoted him as he as saying.

Tensions have risen between Iran and the West since last year when the United States pulled out of an international agreement which curbed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in return for an easing of economic sanctions on Iran.
Sam Adams
Sun Aug 04 13:11:42

"It was carrying 700,000 liters"

Wow. Thats one mighty tanker. Enough to fill 1 whole A380 on a max endurance flight.
Sam Adams
Sun Aug 04 13:12:44
2 a380s i mean. Stupid kgs.
large member
Mon Aug 05 01:07:20
Well, it was smuggling fuel. I imagine that is easier on smaller vessels. I wish they had used kgs as a unit btw.

It actually sounds like a replenishment tanker.
Anarchist Prime
Thu Aug 15 09:49:07
Seized Iran tanker to be released in Gibraltar

Anarchist Prime
Thu Aug 15 09:50:21
U.S. Applies to Seize Iranian Tanker Held in Gibraltar

large member
Thu Aug 15 10:01:43
Yah, that shoe dropping was given from the start.
large member
Thu Aug 15 10:07:47
15th August 2019

Authorities in Gibraltar have released the Iranian supertanker Grace 1, which was seized on July 4 on suspicion it was shipping 2.1m barrels of crude oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.

The decision to release the ship was taken hours after the US launched a separate last-minute legal move to detain the vessel.

The court was told the Gibraltar Government had received a request from the Department of Justice for mutual legal assistance in a bid to seize the ship. The basis for the request was not revealed in court.

But Chief Justice Anthony Dudley said there was no formal US application currently before the court at this stage.

“That’s not before me,” he said. “There are no applications in relation to the US letters of request [for mutual legal assistance].”

On hearing that the Gibraltar Government was no longer seeking to detain the tanker under sanctions legislation, Mr Justice Dudley added: "She is no longer a specified ship...and no longer subject to detention."

After the hearing the Government of Gibraltar published detailed reasons for its decision.

It said it had solid documentary evidence the vessel was bound for Syria when it was detained after entering British Gibraltar territorial waters for stores and spares.

But the government added it had since received formal written assurances from the Iranian government that the ship will not discharge its cargo in Syria.

On that basis, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo decided to lift the detention order and allow the ship to sail.

It is not clear at this stage when the ship will sail from Gibraltar, or whether the US will formally apply to the court to detain it before that happens.


Kudos if true. I was not expecting it to be released.

Thu Aug 15 17:00:11
Quelle surprise.
Rule of law.
Thu Aug 15 17:22:13
"written assurances from the Iranian government that the ship will not discharge its cargo in Syria."

"You can only have your citizens' property released if you, a sovereign nation, agree not to send freight to another sovereign nation"

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