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Monday 2 August 2021

Israeli Oil Tanker ISN’T

Armed conflict, as anyone who has studied the build-up to the Great War will know, can begin with the most insignificant-looking actions and events. This may be exercising the minds of decision makers in London and Washington DC right now, after an attack on an oil tanker called the Mercer Street, which took place in the northern Indian Ocean.

The oil tanker Mercer Street

As the BBC has reported, “The UK and US believe Iran was behind a tanker attack that killed two people, and have vowed to respond, calling it a violation of international law. The MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm, was attacked off Oman on Thursday. A British national and a Romanian citizen were killed”. There was more.

The statements came after Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said there was ‘evidence’ that its longstanding foe Iran was responsible. Mr Bennett warned that ‘we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way’, while Tehran rejected what it called the ‘baseless accusations’. The attack on the MV Mercer Street appears to be the latest escalation in an undeclared ‘shadow war’ between Israel and Iran”.

Zodiac Maritime - only on Twitter since June

At this point, it might appear that this is an open-and-shut attack on an Israeli asset, and that the reaction of PM Bennett is proportional. But the thought also enters that this might be too convenient a distraction for a régime that is under increasing international criticism for the actions of its armed forces towards those who live in the occupied West Bank - an occupation begun in 1967 that has been declared illegal under international law.

For starters, there is this snippet from the Sky News report on the attack: “The UK and US have blamed Iran for an attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker in which two crew members, including a British national, were killed”. So not Israeli owned, merely “linked”. Do go on. “The tanker is operated by Zodiac Maritime, which is based in London and owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer”. “Operated”? So who owns the Mercer Street?

Not Zodiac Maritime, it seems. As the Independent has reported, “Zodiac Maritime is owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer but its London-based office oversees the ship. The M/T Mercer Street is a ‘Japanese-owned vessel’, the company said, with shipping publication Lloyd’s List stating that the owner is Taihei Kaiun Co., which belongs to the Tokyo-based shipping company Nippon Yusen Group”.

So the Mercer Street is Japanese owned. It sails under the flag of Liberia. The company operating it is based in London. The two crewmen killed were British and Romanian. It had no cargo aboard at the time of the attack. It was sailing from Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah in the UAE. And despite all this, the Israeli Government is sticking its bugle in, using the attack as an excuse to have an escalatory pop at the Iranians.

And before the claims that Israel is the wronged party, consider this claim from, of all publications, the Jewish Chronicle: “The Iranian nuclear scientist who was shot dead near Tehran in November was killed by a one-ton automated gun that was smuggled into the country piece-by-piece by the Mossad”. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was, it seems, assassinated because Iran was alleged to be close to having The Bomb. By the Israelis.

Israel’s supporters brag about a terrorist act. Israel appoints itself the victim to pin an act of terrorism on the same adversary. It’s all a bit Heads They Win, Tails Iran Loses.

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Anonymous said...

Gulf of Tonkin, anyone?

If not now, when and where?

We've already had HMS Endeavour and a grinning crew member claiming publicly that they "poked the Russian Bear." Boasted on TV too.

All it takes is one lunatic and some homicidal maniacs in the Pentagon and Whitehall. Then boom - while they hide under a rock again...with a crazy Israeli government.

The Big Event made manifest, more mass slaughter. Yet again.

Anonymous said...

One ton automated gun?
Smuggled in piece by piece, but never going to be dismantled quickly to hide from the authorities. So, left behind to draw attention away from something else, look over here?

mirandola said...

Elijah J Magnier, an informed Middle East commentator closer to the Iranians than the Israelis, points out that this comes as a direct response to Israel's very recent attack on al-Dab’aa airport in Syria where Iranians and Lebanese Hezbollah were killed and wounded, and that there have been over a thousand Israeli attacks on Syrian and Iranian personnel in Syria - many resulting in deaths - in the last ten years, as well as on personnel in Iraq and Lebanon and inside Iran. None of this is reported in The West.

Magnier is pointing out that Iran is now responding to these attacks (in places where Israel can easily strike) with attacks on Israel in a place where Israel is weak - the Northern Indian Ocean.


Anonymous said...

Amazing how the UK, US and Israel are concerned with violations of international law all of a sudden.

grim northerner said...

The Israeli pm needs to 'let off some steam'.

Anonymous said...

Until the politicians turned up the ships crew were calling this a pirate attack, hmmmm, I wonder who changed their minds.

OzTones said...

Iran would like the international agreement that Trump overthrew, with Israeli urging, reinstated, and Biden may well be up for it. This is the last thing Israel wants - they prefer Iran to remain isolated and exposed, with civil unrest (possibly engineered by Mossad) threatening. So Israel needs to keep the pressure on Iran and prevent it returning to the international fold by the US reinstating the agreement. So it's far more likely the "terror" attack on the ship was an Israeli covert op than the Iranians confounding their own best interests. The fact that a very tenuous Israeli link to the vessel has been reported as Israel owning or managing it adds further weight to this possibility (probability?) What's most disappointing is that our mainstream media publishes / broadcasts falsehoods and avoids critical analysis at all costs.

Pikey56 said...

Biden and friends need a new war now that they are leaving Afghanistan