UK Now Enforcing a Naval Blockade of Syria to Starve It of Oil

Panama-flagged vessel boarded and seized by Royal Marines for the "crime" of carrying Iranian crude to Syria

Syria wouldn’t even need Iranian crude in the first place if US wasn’t sitting on its oil

Editor’s note: That Iranian crude was being shipped around Africa through Gibraltar indicates the US has somehow succeeded in denying the Suez canal to it, albeit the latter was supposed to be an international waterway that Egypt has only limited jurisdiction over. UPDATE: There were reports of Iranian tankers not allowed through the Suez in April but in this case it appears Grace 1 is such a large ship it can not fit through.

It also means that just like US the EU now apparently claims jurisdiction over the entire world. It will impose EU sanctions, not just on EU entities, but also against Panamanian ships.

Both developments are very troubling.

Gibraltar port and law enforcement officers, assisted by British special forces, last night boarded and seized a supertanker reportedly carrying Iranian crude oil bound for Syria in breach of EU sanctions. [Ie embargo/blockade.]

The Panama-flag very large crude carrier Grace 1, which was carrying two million barrels of crude oil, was boarded 2.5 miles off Gibraltar just before 2am on Thursday morning.

The vessel and its cargo have been detained, the Gibraltar Government said in a statement.

The Gibraltar authorities said they had information giving “reasonable grounds” to believe the vessel was acting in breach of European Union sanctions against Syria. [How exactly may Panama breech EU sanctions??]

“In fact, we have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria,” said Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, in a statement issued in the early hours of Thursday.

“That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria.”

The UK’s Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the swift action by the authorities on the Rock and the Royal Marines would deny valuable resources to Bashar al Assad’s “murderous regime” in Syria.

The marines were brought in to use their specialist boarding skills to help ensure the Royal Gibraltar Police could gain access to the tanker at sea.

Royal Marines from 42 Commando were involved in the operation and no shots were fired.

The first marines onto the vessel descended on ropes from a Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter, while others were in rigid-hulled inflatable boats.

Around 16 Royal Gibraltar Police officers were also involved in the mission.

Downing Street welcomed the operation and said it sent a clear signal about the sanctioned regime.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We welcome this firm action to enforce EU sanctions against the Syrian regime and commend those Gibraltarian authorities involved in successfully carrying out this morning’s operation.”

“This sends a clear message that violation of the sanctions is unacceptable.”

Spain’s Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, said Spain had been aware of the operation, which happened in British waters that Madrid claims are Spanish. [However the “British waters” are part of the international waterway of the Strait of Gibraltar where third parties have the right of innocent passage.]

“Naturally we were aware of this operation,” Mr Borrell told reporters.

The Spanish minister, who was nominated this week as the candidate for the EU’s top foreign policy job, claimed Guardia Civil vessels had been “guarding the area”.

Commenting on the boarding operation, he added “we are studying the circumstances in which it happened.”

“It was a demand by the United States to the United Kingdom and we are looking into how it affects our sovereignty because it happened in, what we understand, are Spanish waters,” he said.

The Gibraltar Government did not confirm the origin of the tanker’s cargo but the specialist maritime publication Lloyd’s List reported earlier this week that it was Iranian crude.

According to Lloyd’s List, the ship sailed around the Cape of Good Hope after loading around mid-April off Iran and spending time at anchor in two different locations in waters off the United Arab Emirates.

Mapping data provided by Refinitiv Eikon also indicates that the ship sailed from Iran.

If the cargo is confirmed to be Iranian crude, its attempted delivery to Syria could also be a violation of U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports. [Sanctions which the EU itself does not support.]

The mapping data shows the ship has sailed a longer route around the southern tip of Africa instead of via Egypt’s Suez Canal.

The Grace 1 was documented as loading fuel oil in Iraq in December, although the Iraqi port did not list it as being in port and its tracking system was switched off.

The tanker reappeared near Iran’s port of Bandar Assaluyeh fully loaded.

On Thursday, the vessel was boarded while carrying out an off-port-limits logistics stop in British Gibraltar territorial waters, where it had been due to collect food and goods while transiting past the Rock.

Late Wednesday, the Gibraltar Government published regulations and a notice to enforce those sanctions against the vessel and its cargo.

The Chief Minister also gave a direction requiring the Captain of the Port, assisted by the Royal Gibraltar Police and Customs, to take control of the Grace 1.

“With my consent, our port and law enforcement agencies sought the assistance of the Royal Marines in carrying out this operation,” Mr Picardo said.

“As the sanctions being enforced are established by the EU, I have written this morning to the Presidents of the European Commission and Council, setting out the details of the sanctions which we have enforced.”

“I want to thank the brave men and women of the Royal Marines, the Royal Gibraltar Police, Her Majesty’s Customs Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Port Authority, for their work in securing the detention of this vessel and its cargo.”

“Be assured that Gibraltar remains safe, secure and committed to the international, rules-based, legal order.” [Would that be the “rules-based” legal order where laws of the sea are rewritten ad hoc?]

The ship is currently anchored off the east side of the Rock.

The UK Government’s Foreign Office said in a statement: “We welcome this firm action by the Gibraltarian authorities, acting to enforce the EU Syria Sanctions regime.”

Source: Gibraltar Chronicle

  1. […] a story about this posted on the Internet site.  It’s headlined “U.K. Now Enforcing a Naval Blockade of Syria to Starve It of Oil” — and comes courtesy of Larry Galearis.  A naval blockade is an act of war…but […]

  2. Mary E says

    So let’s get this straight: The US , assisted by their puppets, the UK and France and whoever else, invades Syria for some obscure reason (they don need a reason, they just wanted to do it), destroys much of the country then confiscates its oil rich area and is sitting on it…now they won’t let oil tankers to deliver oil! Why would they do that?
    The evil and floundering US is so delusional that it thinks it will keep that oil for itself..
    But, if by some miracle, Russia goes back in to save Syria by getting their territory back,
    they will be in business again, but that is a long shot that is probably just a dream… but is Russia really afraid of stirring up a hornets nest with the US troops that are there to ‘protect’ that oil???? All on behalf of Israel! And the US taxpayers are footing the bill….which should infuriate every single American…doing Israel’s dirty work for it is angering many Americans….

  3. Aurum Cimex says

    Enough is enough. It is long past time to call the bullies bluff. Iran should not just threaten to seize a British tanker it should do so. It should also announce the closure of the Strait of Hormuz to tanker traffic. The alternative is to admit surrender and watch the world become enslaved completely.

  4. All_has_An _END_. says

    This is very troubling and scary. If this continues I am afraid WW3 will occur

    1. Muriel Kuri says

      Yes, there are several hot spots in the world where this could start, and I think this recent act by the UK, Iran will not ‘go quietly into that good night’. Iran WILL retaliate – what we don’t yet know is HOW.

  5. Garry Compton says

    Like the Man said ” It’s either you’re with us NWO freaks – or you are not” and this is the bottom line. There is No – USA, Britain, Spain, or any sovereign country that thought/thinks – they were. There is the NWO and the people of these countries – have No say in the matter – yet.

  6. Mary E says

    Those little wimp sissies who have been isolated on their island for centuries just don’t get it..they, as their former royalty are most likely inbreds too…they just don’t have the capacity to do anything on their own…..

  7. thomas malthaus says

    I think President Trump’s policy of oil tanker seizure has advanced to never returning these tankers to Iranian or other shipping entities.

    One way or the other, the president is intentionally shutting down global oil trade.

    I might expect Saudi empty or fully laden tankers, to soon be occupying the Persian Gulf bottom before too long. Probably some Saudi oil employees of Shia origin able to act independently of Iran.

    How will these acts be proven?

  8. John C Carleton says

    Rats run Britain.
    Rats run Israhell.
    Rats want Syria.

  9. Mary E says

    This US ordered action is outrageous on so many levels! The fact that the US invaded and almost destroyed Syria for its oil and now sits on its largest oil reserves (and most likely taking it out by the millions of gallons), that other countries joining in against Syria by blocking oil tankers from delivering their loads are criminally responsible too.. and should be prosecuted by the world court. unbelievable that the EU is so totally under the US thumb… like a little headless puppet..

  10. Mary E says

    So wondering if Iran can help out in this situation?! It probably could, but is too enmeshed protecting its own self…. Russia or China really should help bail Syria out of this US created mess…whichever one does it will be the HERO in the world’s eyes

  11. BillA says

    sure seems like piracy, naturally by the UK

  12. CHUCKMAN says

    Yes, it is troubling, and yes, it is piracy.

    I just get this oppressive mental image of whole crowds of officials in Washington gathered in various locations, trying think-up and plan new ways of assaulting America’s target states.

    It resembles a form of highly organized state terror, with the terrorists forming almost a whole new branch of government.

    Such efforts to enforce viciousness against states guilty of breaking no law.

    No law, that is, but an American law which should have no application outside of America.

    Just contempt for the rule of law.

    And the UK serving as America’s willing helper, something which has become one of its chief activities anymore, from bombing in Syria to selling to the Saudis and to supporting the horror in Yemen and to the mad tale of the Skripal Affair and the years of calculated abuse against Julian Assange.

    1. chris chuba says

      Isn’t the U.S. navy conducting ‘freedom of navigation drills’ in the South China Sea because we are the self-proclaimed guardians of international waterways?
      Oh and we are doing this based on the theoretical possibility that China might obstruct traffic there at some point in the future but here Iranian oil was seized from a Panamanian ship bound for Syria.

      The Chinese don’t want our protection. This is why they are building aircraft carriers. The next step in the escalation against Iran will be stopping an Iranian tanker bound for China.

      1. cap960 says

        They wouldn’t dare… the west, specially the Yanks love to go against defenseless countries. It makes them feel good.

    2. Mary E says

      It’s all bad, very bad! The US government at the executive and State Department levels is run by insanely delusional people who think that if they continue warring that some day it will pay off in huge $$$$, and the US will rule the world, but they have made the mistake of overspending to do this…and will not succeed….ever

  13. cap960 says

    Old habits die hard for our Brits. Stealing is in their blood. Libya’s billions. Venezuela’s gold. Now Iranians oil.

  14. jm74 says

    Syria should not have listened to Russia and attacked the US the minute they set boots on the ground.

    1. Mary E says

      Why in the world not?? But since Syria was doing what Russia ‘suggested’,
      Russia should continue on in Syria and make sure the US gets the hell out..
      they owe them that!

    2. CHUCKMAN says

      Thanks, Tel Aviv, but we already know your poisonous views.

      Have you nothing better to do?

      1. jm74 says

        Sorry sport but the jew is you.

  15. Muriel Kuri says

    Iran will have to have support vehicles defending it’s tankers from these pirates. This is going to get hot very quickly, as Iran will not accept this kind of treatment.

  16. silver7 says

    England. The JCPOA Country that broke its signed agreement in the shortest possible time. The EU agreed and signed and then gave only lip service to the JCPOA. All lied from day one couldn’t be more obvious. Watched Iran complying with a sneer.

    1. Mary E says

      We will be waiting until Iran has its nuke warheads to thwart the West…then watch the NATO gang run…fast in the other direction! Iran could beat them now, but they are waiting for the right time…and with baited breathe, we all wait for the US et al to just try to close the straights to prevent Iran from getting its oil shipped! Very very big surprises in store for the military ‘kings; of the world!!!

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