The U.S. announced last week that it will increase its military footprint in the Arabian Gulf after recent oil tanker seizures by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz—which we have noted was in response to Washington’s pirating of Iranian ships in the region. But this was ignored in the mainstream media.
Reports emerged from Iran that said the country seized control of another tanker in the region to settle a commercial dispute. The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to an email from The Trends Journal seeking confirmation.
John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, told reporters on Friday that the U.S. will not allow “foreign or regional powers to jeopardize freedom of navigation through the Middle East waterways.”
He told reporters that there is no justification for Iran’s actions and he said the Pentagon will make “a series of moves to bolster our defensive posture in the Arabian Gulf. U.S. central command will provide additional details on those reinforcements in coming days.”
Kirby claimed that Iran either attacked or harassed 15 internationally flagged commercial vessels and a series of close approaches and risky maneuvers by the Iranians near U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships, Maritime-Executive reported.
The most recent Iranian seizure occurred on 3 May at approximately 6:20 a.m. local time and involved the Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi.
The ship was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) while transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Video emerged online that showed the tanker being swarmed with fast-attack ships from the Iranian navy.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Tehran has angered Washington over its support for Russia, the failure of the Obama-era nuclear deal, and simmering tensions between Iran and Israel. (See “‘PAYBACK’S A BITCH’: IRANIAN FORCES SEIZE SECOND OIL TANKER IN GULF OF OMAN AMID INCREASED TENSIONS WITH THE U.S.” 9 May 2023, “MIDDLE EAST MELTDOWN HEATING UP: U.S. SENDS BUNKER BUSTING BOMBS TO ‘DETER’ IRAN” 2 May 2023, and “NETANYAHU TRIES TO THROW COLD WATER ON SAUDI ARABIA’S PEACE DEAL WITH IRAN” 25 Apr 2023.)
Iran has seized two tankers in recent weeks in retaliation after the U.S. seized an Iranian oil ship. Task and Purpose reported that the U.S. has regularly “seized or attempted to seize Iranian oil tankers, a policy meant to enforce sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program.”
The U.S. seized the Suez Rajan in April, which was carrying Iranian oil to China.
The reports in the Western media seem to conveniently leave out the fact that Iran’s act of aggression was in response to the U.S. Gerald Celente has long criticized the U.S. for having any presence in the Strait of Hormuz. (Indeed, it is amusing to see a branch of the military called “the U.S. Coast Guard” sailing thousands of miles from any American coastline.)
Kirby did not specify what steps the U.S. will take to bolster forces in the region, but the U.S. Navy said Iran has acted to interfere with at least 15 ships over the past few years. AntiWar noted that the U.S. and Israel seized about a dozen Iranian vessels in that timeframe.
Needless to say, warmongers in Congress are excited about another foreign military adventure and introduced a bill last month called the Maritime Architecture and Response to International Terrorism in the Middle East Act that is intended to counter maritime threats from Iran and others, Maritime-Executive noted.