رهانان أميركيّان استراتيجيّان يسقطان… وتفوّق تكتيكي لمحور المقاومة

 

يونيو 17, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– بات واضحاً أن الأميركيين عندما وضعوا حزمة العقوبات المشدّدة على إيران بنوا رهانهم على سياقين متكاملين: الأول هو الرهان على تأثير العقوبات على جعل القيادة الإيرانية بعد مرور زمن كافٍ يتراوح بين سنة وسنتين، مضطرة للاختيار بين تمويل حاجاتها الاقتصادية الضرورية وتمويل برامج أمنها القومي، أي البرنامج النووي والبرنامج الصاروخي ودعم حركات المقاومة، والرهان الثاني هو خلق إجماع دولي على اعتبار الخروج الإيراني من الاتفاق النووي مساساً بالأمن والسلم الدوليين، يحمّلها تبعات عودة العقوبات من مجلس الأمن الدولي على قاعدة ان موقعها في الاتفاق مختلف عن موقع أميركا. فهي الجهة التي تقع على عاتقها التزامات نووية تمس الأمن والسلم الدوليين والخروج الأميركي من الاتفاق لا يقع تحت هذا البند ولو اختلف معها الشركاء الدوليون في الموقف من خروجها وعودتها الأحادية للعقوبات، وبالتوازي خلق إجماع دولي على اعتبار أي تهديد لأمن أسواق النفط من معابر وممرات الخليج تهديداً للملاحة الدولية، وتحميل إيران تبعات ذلك بالعقوبات وسواها.

– في سياق موازٍ راهن الأميركيون الذين أعلنوا الانسحاب من الاتفاق النووي مع إيران قبل أكثر من عام على خلق دينامية إقليميّة تحاصر إيران عبر حلف أميركي خليجي إسرائيلي يتمكن من فرض حل للقضية الفلسطينية، يرضي أمن «إسرائيل» ويغدق الأموال على الفلسطينيين. وبالتالي وقتوا الحزمة القاتلة من عقوباتهم مع التوقيت الافتراضي لإطلاق كائنهم العجيب المسمّى بصفقة القرن، وكانت الحسابات الأميركية أن يتزامن خلق الإجماع الدولي بوجه خطر خروج إيران من الاتفاق النووي والعودة للتخصيب المرتفع لليورانيوم، مع الإجماع الدولي بوجه أي نشاطات مؤثرة على أسواق النفط العالمية تثبت مقولة إيران بأن نفط الخليج لن يكون متاحاً ما لم تصدر إيران نفطها، مع إطلاق مبهر لصفقة القرن يقف فيه رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو، الذي وضعت واشنطن كل ثقلها لتمكينه من البقاء قوياً، ويقف مثله رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية ومعهما الرئيس الأميركي وقادة الخليج لإعلان نهاية القضية الفلسطينية، وجنباً إلى جنب كان السعي لهدنة طويلة بين حماس وجيش الاحتلال في غزة، تدعمه مجموعة إغراءات اقتصادية، يحيّد أي تأثير لقدرات المقاومة عن إمكانية تعطيل صفقة القرن.

– اليوم يقف الأميركيون أمام لحظة الاستحقاق، فيكتشفون أنهم يحصدون الفشل الاستراتيجي على الرهانين الكبيرين، العقوبات القاتلة على إيران دون تمكينها من العودة للتخصيب المرتفع ودون تبعات على أسواق النفط، من جهة، وإطلاق صفقة القرن بالتزامن بغطاء فلسطيني وحضور إسرائيلي قويّ، من جهة مقابلة. فالرهانان يسقطان سقوطاً مدوياً. العقوبات التي يحتاج الأميركيون لسنتين كي يبدأ حصادها السياسي تنتج مسارات وتحديات تضع الأميركيين امام استحقاقات كبرى سقفها ستة شهور مقبلة، تكون معها أسواق النفط تشتعل في ظل تحوّل المناخ الدولي للوساطة بين واشنطن وطهران، وتكون إيران قد امتلكت من اليورانيوم المخصب على درجة عالية ما يكفي لإنتاج قنبلة نووية في ظل تفهم روسي وصيني وارتباك أوروبي، وبالتوازي يشهدون إجماعاً فلسطينياً على رفض صفقة القرن، وتهاوياً إسرائيلياً سياسياً، يجعلان المشروع عاجزاً عن الإقلاع.

– الفشل الاستراتيجي الأميركي يمنح إيران وقوى المقاومة تفوقاً تكتيكياً. فالمواجهة أظهرت المكانة المميّزة التي تمكن أنصار الله من احتلالها في مشهد الخليج، بصورة ربطت أي تهدئة بتسوية تحفظ مطالب اليمنيين ومكانتهم، والتحالف الروسي السوري الإيراني مع قوى المقاومة ينجز تفوقاً في إدلب، ويجعل ساعة الحسم في سورية أقرب، فتتراجع الأوهام الأميركية حول قدرة البقاء في شرق سورية حتى ساعة المقايضة بين الانسحاب وانسحاب موازٍ لإيران وقوى المقاومة.

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The curious case of the tankers

June 14, 2019

by Nat South for The Saker Blog

I have taken the opportunity to look at the recent incident involving two outbound tankers in the Gulf of Oman. I have got some questions or two, (or three) about certain parts of the incident, from a civilian mariner’s perspective mostly.

There are various conflating aspects to the event, and questions need to be asked, yet journalists do not seemingly wish to ask the awkward but necessary questions these days.

Background

The two tankers identified as the ‘Front Altair’, a Marshall Islands flagged vessel and the ‘Kokuka Courageous’, a Panama-flagged vessel.

Front Altair Kokuka Courageous
Managed by Frontline, (Norway – Bermuda) Managed by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Singapore/ Japan)
23 crew(11 Russian, 11 Philippine, 1 Georgian) 21 crew (Philippine)
Aframax – 86% loaded Handy – fully loaded
75,000 MT of Naphtha 25,000 MT Methanol
Ruwais, UAE Qatar & KSA
Taiwan Singapore
Hyundai Dubai rescued crew Coastal Ace rescued crew
Transferred by SAR boat to Iranian port Transferred to USS Bainbridge
Radio message: “torpedo attack” Japanese CEO: “flying objects”
Hit on starboard amidships – “in fire’ Hit on starboard Twice over 3-hour period – engine room fire
Stopped at 02:47GMT Stopped at 06:20GMT

Both tankers were outbound (south east) of the Strait of Hormuz. Both suffered from explosion on the starboard side, (the side facing international waters). Past AIS tracks of both vessels shown here. The U.S. Navy reported receiving distress messages at 06:12am and 07:00am.

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MarineTraffic

@MarineTraffic

We’ve captured the activity of the vessels that raced to the area to help the crew of & Courageous.
Watch the vessels Dubai, , & in this past track video.

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The activity of the vessels was captured in this past AIS track video. It shows the vessels that went to the tankers, to help the crew of the tankers. The assisting vessels are: Hyundai Dubai, tug ‘E-Two’, the Coastal Ace & ‘Naji 10’.

Contradictions and questions

The US military released a video  claiming to show an Iranian naval boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the hull of the ‘Kokuka Courageous’ in an apparent attempt to recover evidence of its participation. I will comment more about the video later on, but we have already the ludicrous situation where the information provided by the US contradicts the statement made by the Japanese ship management company, who did not believe the ship was damaged by a mine, but by flying objects. The president of Kokuka Sangyo Marine, (shipowners), Yutaka Katada, said “there is no possibility of mine attack as the attack is well above the waterline.”

https://twitter.com/nhk_news/status/1139114208463872001

 

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NHKニュース

@nhk_news

タンカー運航の国華産業社長「砲弾による攻撃を受けた」https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20190613/k10011951311000.html 

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Questions, questions: then there is the question of timing of an attack of a Japanese owned tanker at a time when the Japanese PM was in Iran for talks.

To add to the confusion, there were reports that the Dutch crew of the ‘Coastal Ace’ who first noted a suspicious object on the hull of the tanker. This then morphed into reports that the USS Bainbridge seeing a suspect device, as shown in the timeline provided by the US Navy.

Regarding the other tanker, ‘Front Altair’, the ‘Hyundai Dubai’ was the first ship on scene who responded to the distress message and rescued the crew. Subsequently, it seems the master of this vessel gave a report on VHF: video & audio (unconfirmed).

The audio is rather telling & factual (it is a Russian speaker apparently), as he relays information from the ‘Front Altair’, ‘torpedo attack” is mentioned. (I am assuming is it is pan, pan or urgency message; it is not a distress message).

The U.S. by releasing a grainy black & white video segment, accused Iran of removing a mine from the other tanker, ‘Kokuka Courageous’, as apparent evidence of its involvement in the attacks of the two tankers. The video raises more questions than provides answers.

If both the civilian crew of the ‘Coastal Ace’ and the ‘USS Bainbridge’ both saw the ‘mine’, late morning, then why leave the important evidence in place on the hull of the tanker for several hours? For the Iranians to pick it up later?

https://www.cusnc.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1874301/statement-regarding-shipping-vessels-in-gulf-of-oman/

USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) was operating in the vicinity and provided immediate assistance to the M/V Kokuka Courageous.”

Immediate? Note that assistance didn’t extend to making safe a suspicious device ‘immediately’.

At 11:05 a.m. local time USS Bainbridge approaches the Dutch tug Coastal Ace, which had rescued the crew of twenty-one sailors from the M/T Kokuka Courageous who had abandoned their ship after discovering a probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.”

“At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.”

Timings put in bold for emphasis by author.

The poor quality of the video, apparently taken from a P-8 US navy aircraft, is astounding, given that it took place at 16:00, on a sunlit day. Compare the quality and availability of the metrics between what happened during the encounter between the ‘Admiral Vinogradov’ and the ‘USS Chancellorsville, last week:

I know that optical quality is downgraded for security reasons, but this is beyond a joke in the days of HD and high-quality images on mobile phones.

Not exactly covert, to retrieve a ‘mine’ right under the noses of the US Navy? Especially when you can see in the video people on the Iranian boat looking towards a ship (?) and quite possibly the US aircraft as well. Anyway, does it take 10 people all crowded on the bow to remove a ‘mine’? Unusual EOD method there.

Does it occur to anyone that it might be a person releasing something so that the boat can leave the tanker’s side, a mooring line attachment, a magnetic device? There is no proof to suggest it was a limpet mine removed from the tanker.

The other thing that really bugs me as someone with maritime experience, is the fact that the US Navy was quite relaxed about a fully loaded tanker with methanol with an apparent explosive device attached to the hull amidships.

I personally wouldn’t be calm, due to the implication of having a toxic, polluting and highly flammable cargo, possibly seconds from being ignited. I’d be getting an EOD team over quickly to ID it, to make it safe and hand it over as a crucial piece of evidence. Yet, I cannot ascertain that any of that actually happened while the USS Bainbridge was in the vicinity of the tanker. I guess it was better to wait a few hours and let the Iranians do it. Surreal.

Instead, it seems that the US Navy stood by idly for hours, watched and let the Iranians approach the tanker, so as to gather ‘evidence’.

Another thing, this PowerPoint from the US is rather remarkable:

I guess using a telephoto lens wasn’t appropriate, to get a close-up of the darned ‘mine’ thing. Again, compare this with the US naval person on the ‘USS Chancellorsville’, merrily snapping away at the ‘Admiral Vinogradov’.

Just on this point, I like the witticism on social media:

the Pentagon should start using Huawei cameras for better video quality”.

This a good ‘un too:

Breaking: The US Navy has confirmed that there has been a reported attack on US tankers in the Gulf of Oman.” Posted by SkyNews at 12:37 am 13 June

Credibility has gone down the drain, as the tweet is still live as I write this a day later.

I know it seems little silly observations, but some of these observations could have been made by journalists when presented with official statements. Yet the most obvious question is:

Why would Iran attack two tankers near to the Strait of Hormuz, in the vicinity of US naval forces”? Some comments provided by this Military Times article. I’ll leave that for others to comment and analyze.

I’ll add more in the comments section.

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WHAT IS BEHIND ATTACKS ON TANKERS IN PERSIAN GULF REGION

South Front

What Is Behind Attacks On Tankers In Persian Gulf Region

Tensions are on the rise around the Persian Gulf after a series of suspicious attacks on oil tankers in the region.

On May 12, a supposed sabotage attack targeted very large crude carrier Amjad, crude tanker Al Marzoqah [both owned by Saudi shipping firm Bahri], UAE-flagged fuel bunker barge A Michel and Norwegian-registered oil products tanker MT AndreA Victory off UAE’s Fujairah. the attack did not cause any casualties or an oil spill.

Intitially, Thome Ship Management said that its MT Andrew Victory was “struck by an unknown object”. Jaber Al Lamki, an executive director at the UAE’s National Media Council, claimed that the attack was “aimed at undermining global oil supplies and maritime security.”

Mainstream media outlets came with variuos speculations providing contradictory claims of ‘anonymous soources’ on the incident. Most of these speculations were focusing on the supposed Iranian involvement in the situation.

What Is Behind Attacks On Tankers In Persian Gulf Region

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The US de-facto blamed Iran for the situation with National Security Adviser John Bolton claiming that the attacks were the work of “naval mines almost certainly from Iran.”

“It’s clear that Iran is behind the Fujairah attack. Who else would you think would be doing it? Someone from Nepal?” he told journalists at a US embassy briefing.

“There is no doubt in anybody’s minds in Washington, we know who did this and it’s important Iran knows we know,” he added.

In own turn, Iran stated that it played no part in the attacks and said that it was a false flag fabricated by the US. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stressed that Iran expected “suspicious sabotage acts.”

“In this meeting, concern about suspicious actions and sabotage in the region was talked about, and we said that we had previously predicted that such actions would occur to create tensions in the region,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif following talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on May 14th.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the head of Majlis national security and foreign policy commission said that the alleged sabotage of the tankers was proof how fragile security was in the Persian Gulf. Falahatpisheh said that the attack was performed by the “third party”.

On June 12, a fire that broke out on an Iranian oil platform of the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf and was subsequently contained and no fatalities were reported. Iran’s Students News Agency ISNA said the fire had been contained. State TV said the cause of the fire was under investigation and there were no reports of disruptions to operations at the field.

On June 13, another suspicious incident took place in the Gulf of Oman. Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair and Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous oil tankers were rocked by explosions. This development also appeared to be surrounded by multiple speculations immidiately after first reports about the situation. The initial versions were varrying from a torpedo attack to naval mines with the aforementioned tendency regarding the supposed Iranian involvement.

The incident happened during a visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Iran. The Kokuka Courageous is owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo Ltd.

What Is Behind Attacks On Tankers In Persian Gulf Region

Image source: AFP

What Is Behind Attacks On Tankers In Persian Gulf Region

AP Photo / ISNA

Both Iran and the US released contradictory statements claiming that their naval forces had  rescued crew members of the tankers. Nonetheless, once again no casualties were reported in the supposed attack.

Later on the same day, State Secretary Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack. He claimed that Iran wants to end “successful maximum pressure campaign” of the US sanctions.

“This is only the latest in the series of attacks instigated by the Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American allies and interests. They should be understood in the context of four years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations,” he said.

Dryad Global@GlobalDryad

Reports of vessel MT Front Altair being on fire & adrift at position 2527N 05722E are being investigated. No cause has been positively confirmed. Latest information will be communicated when available. Contact our team via http://www.dryadglobal.com 

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Iran once again denied its involvement in such developments. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif labeled the incident as “suspicious” hinting that this may have been a provocation.

Javad Zarif

@JZarif

Reported attacks on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM @AbeShinzo was meeting with Ayatollah @khamenei_ir for extensive and friendly talks.

Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning.

Iran’s proposed Regional Dialogue Forum is imperative.

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On June 14, Washington claimed that it has evidence confirming the Iranian involvement in the June 13 incident. According  to a statement by US Central Command, Iranian forces were spotted removing “a probable unexploded limpet mine” from Kokuka Courageous.

The video released by Central Command shows a boat coming up to the side of the tanker. An individual stands up on the bow of the boat and removes some object from the tanker’s hull.

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Central Comamnd also released photos supposed to confirm the claim regarding the unexploded mine.

What Is Behind Attacks On Tankers In Persian Gulf Region

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What Is Behind Attacks On Tankers In Persian Gulf Region

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The full text of the  Central Command statement:

“U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local time from the motor tanker (M/T) Altair and a second one at 7a.m. local time from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.

Both vessels were in international waters in the Gulf of Oman approximately 10 nautical miles apart at the time of the distress calls. USS Bainbridge was approximately 40 nautical miles away from the M/T Altair at the time of the attack, and immediately began closing the distance.

At 8:09 a.m. local time a U.S. aircraft observed an IRGC Hendijan class patrol boat and multiple IRGC fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft (FAC/FIAC) in the vicinity of the M/T Altair.

At 9:12 a.m. local time a U.S. aircraft observes the FAC/FIAC pull a raft from the M/T Altair from the water.

At 9:26 a.m. local time the Iranians requested that the motor vessel Hyundai Dubai, which had rescued the sailors from the M/T Altair, to turn the crew over to the Iranian FIACs. The motor vessel Hyundai Dubai complied with the request and transferred the crew of the M/T Altair to the Iranian FIACs.

At 11:05 a.m. local time USS Bainbridge approaches the Dutch tug Coastal Ace, which had rescued the crew of twenty-one sailors from the M/T Kokuka Courageous who had abandoned their ship after discovering a probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.

While the Hendijan patrol boat appeared to attempt to get to the tug Coastal Ace before USS Bainbridge, the mariners were rescued by USS Bainbridge at the request of the master of the M/T Kokuka Courageous. The rescued sailors are currently aboard USS Bainbridge.

At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.

The U.S. and our partners in the region will take all necessary measures to defend ourselves and our interests.  Today’s attacks are a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce.

The U.S. and the international community, stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation.

The United States has no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. However, we will defend our interests.

– attributable to Capt. Bill Urban, Lead Spokesman for U.S. Central Command”

Nonetheless, this version faced a serious scepticism among more or less independent media outlets, and even the owner and operator of the Kokuka Courageous and European allies of the US.

“The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

Nathalie Tocci, a senior adviser to European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also avoided to blame Iran for the situation directly.

“Before we blame someone, we need credible evidence,” the official said.

Yutaka Katada, the president of Kokuka Sangyo, said on June 14 that he doesn’t completely believe the US version of events. Katada called reports of a mine attack “false” pointing an obvious reason – a mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level, like what was seen with Kokuka Courageous.

“A mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level,” he said “We aren’t sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship.”

He added that sailors on board the ship saw “flying objects” just before Kokuka Courageous was hit. This is another evidence suggesting the vessel wasn’t damaged by mines, but by objects that could have been fired from a distance.

What Is Behind Attacks On Tankers In Persian Gulf Region

Click to see the full-size image

On June 15, the media hysteria continued. CNN claimed that Iranian forces attempted to shoot down a US drone in the area:

“In the hours before the attack on the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, the Iranians spotted a US drone flying overhead and launched a surface-to-air missile at the unmanned aircraft, a US official told CNN.

The missile missed the drone and fell into the water, the official said.

Prior to taking fire, the American MQ-9 Reaper drone observed Iranian vessels closing in on the tankers, the official added, though the source did not say whether the unmanned aircraft saw the boats conducting an actual attack.

Still, it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack.”

It’s expected that soon the English-speaking audience will get more “revelations” and “details” regarding the incident form anonymous sources of MSM outlets. These reports would be a logical continuation of the previous series of media hysteria on supposed Iranian preparations to attack US forces and infrastructure in the Middle East fueled by the Washington establishment and MSM.

The “Iran is readying for an attack” propaganda campaign was used by the US to justify its ongoing military buildup in the region.

  • On May 25, President Donald Trump declared that the US is sending 1,500 troops, 12 fighter jets, manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft, and a number of military engineers to counter Iran. Trump also approved an $8 billion sale of precision guided missiles and other military support to Saudi Arabia.
  • The Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and the USS Arlington amphibious transport dock, which carries marines, amphibious vehicles, and rotary aircraft, as well as the Patriot missiles, were deployed near the Persian Gulf.
  • A strategic bomber task force was deployed at the US airbase Al Udeid in Qatar.

Taking into account the military and political situation established in the region, and the obvious loopholes in Washington’s version of the June 13 ‘attack’, it’s quite possible it was a pre-planned provocation. Furthermore, the main side interested in this development is the US. It allows it to pursue several important goals:

  • The growing tensions in the Persian Gulf region allows the Trump administration to continue exploiting the “Iranian threat” to justify its internal and foreign policies. Inside the US, it will allow Washinton to increase spending on military-industrial complex even further. In terms of the foreign policy, the US got an additional justification to continue its hard-core anti-Iranian and pro-Israeli policy as well as to boost military and diplomatic presence in the Middle East.
  • The geoeconomic goal of this provocation is to create tensions in the Persian Gulf region and near it (the western part of Indian Ocean). The growing threat to maritime security would increase the coast of logistical costs for key oil consumers. DHT Holdings and Heidmar, two of the biggest oil tankers operators in the world, have suspended new bookings to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The oil price gew. Insurance rates for logistical operations in the region are also expected to grow. This situation directly impacts China, one of the key oil consumers, and European states with a large industrial potential, like Germany. The pressure on possible economic competitors through economic (tariffs and sanctions), military and diplomatic means are the consistent policy of the Trump administration.

Peter Hsu@phsu54

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Iran has strongly denied its involvement in the attack. Nonetheless, it also played a role in the current tensions through its allies in Yemen. Over the past months, Ansar Allah (the Houthis) has drastically increased the number of missile and drone attacks on key infrastructure objects in Saudi Arabia.

The Iranian leadership would also use the threat of an aggressive and artful enemy (the US-Israeli alliance) to justify its policies and boost influence on Shia armed groups and movements across the Greater Middle East, first of all in Yemen and Iraq.

Ansar Allah, supported by Iran, will likely continue strident and painful attacks on Saudi Arabia. In the event of the further escalation of the regional situation, Teheran may even use some of its allied groups for attacks on US forces or infrastructure objects.

Strategically, Iran will focus on developing asymmetric means and measures, including tactical missile forces and a mosquito-craft fleet. The chosen asymmetric responses will be in level with Iran’s economic capabilities and capable of delivering a blow to the US in the event of a hot conflict.

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ماذا سيفعل الأميركيون لضمان أسواق النفط؟

يونيو 14, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– ليس من إثبات قانوني على مسؤولية إيران عن أي من الحوادث التي تصيب سوق النفط وتتسبب بالمزيد من التدهور في استقراره والمزيد من الصعود في أسعاره، لكن الأكيد أن ما تشهده منطقة الخليج من حوادث تستهدف سوق النفط يتمّ على خلفية النظر إلى مشهد التوتر الناتج عن الاستهداف الأميركي لقدرة إيران على تصدير نفطها من جهة، والرد الإيراني القائم على معادلة، إذا لم نستطع تصدير نفطنا فإن غيرنا لن يستطيع ذلك أيضاً، والعالم كله ينظر للتصعيد القائم الآن وفقاً لمعادلة أبعد من كيف تثبت واشنطن قوتها، أو كيف تردّ واشنطن على ما تتهم إيران به، فالسؤال الكبير دولياً هو مَن يضمن عودة الاستقرار إلى سوق النفط وإلى أسعاره؟

– إذا سلكت واشنطن طريق الاستهداف العسكري المباشر أو غير المباشر، الضيّق والمحدود أو الأوسع، فإن ذلك سيعني تصاعد الوضع أكثر واستدراج ردود على الردود من نوعها، مباشرة أو غير مباشرة، محدودة أو واسعة النطاق، لكن الأكيد هو أن سوق النفط ستبلغ المزيد من الاضطراب والأسعار ستبلغ المزيد من السقوف العالية، وإذا سلكت واشنطن طريق التجاهل واكتفت بالتحذير والسعي لردود دبلوماسيّة، فإن ذلك يقول إن الخط البياني للأحداث التي استهدفت سوق النفط سيتصاعد وبات هو الحاكم المسيطر على معادلات هذا السوق، وعنوانها، إن لم تستطع إيران تصدير نفطها فإن غيرها لن يستطيع.

– بالتوازي تتبقى ثلاثة أسابيع أمام نهاية مهلة الستين يوماً التي ستبادر إيران بنهايتها إلى التخصيب المرتفع لليورانيوم والتخزين لليورانيوم المخصب، وصولاً لامتلاك ما قالت واشنطن ودول الغرب إنه نقطة الخطر، اي امتلاك إيران ما يكفي لإنتاج أول قنبلة نووية، رغم قرارها بعدم فعل ذلك. والسؤال الموازي ماذا ستفعل واشنطن عندها، أو ماذا ستفعل واشنطن قبلها لمنع بلوغ تلك اللحظة، وبمعزل عن المسؤوليات القانونية التي لا تفيد في مثل هذه الحالات تواجه واشنطن أخطر اختبار لمشهد قوتها على الساحة الدولية حيث تبدو كل الخيارات صعبة، ويبدو الزمن الذي تحتاجه واشنطن لاختبار فعالية إجراءاتها الاقتصادية التصعيدية بوجه إيران أكبر بكثير من الزمن الذي وضعت فيه طهران واشنطن أمام اللحظات الحرجة لضمان استقرار سوق النفط ومواجهة مستقبل ملفها النووي.

– الطريق السالك الوحيد أمام واشنطن لتفادي الأسوأ هو استغلال الوقت المتبقي قبل دخول مهلة الستين يوماً حيّز التنفيذ في الشق النووي، والذهاب إلى قمة العشرين في نهاية الشهر الحالي بخريطة طريق، لتأجيل متبادل أميركي وإيراني للحزمة الأخيرة من الخطوات التصعيديّة لستة شهور تمنح خلالها الوساطات الفرص المناسبة للوصول إلى مبادرات سياسية بديلة. وهذا يعني تراجع واشنطن عن كل ما صدر عنها من عقوبات منذ نهاية شهر نيسان الماضي عندما قامت بإلغاء الاستثناءات الممنوحة على شراء النفط والغاز من إيران لثماني دول، وما تلاها من عقوبات على المعادن والبتروكيماويات الإيرانية، مقابل تراجع إيران عن مهلة الستين يوماً، وتوصل الدول المعنية لضمانات للتعاون في منع أي استهداف لأسواق النفط، وسيتلقف الروس والصينيّون والأوروبيّون واليابانيّون هذه المبادرة وتتجاوب معها إيران، التي كان مدخل خيارها التصعيدي التصعيد الأميركي الجديد.

– تبريد التصعيد سيفتح الطريق للبحث عن سقوف منخفضة لتسويات واقعية في سورية واليمن بعيداً عن المطالب الأميركية الوهمية والخيالية. ويفتح طريق تجميد النزاع حول الملف النووي الذي لا يزعج إيران خروج واشنطن منه ولا يريح واشنطن عودتها إليه، ويصعب على الطرفين التنازل في بنوده، وإلا فإن الرعونة الأميركية التي كانت وراء الخطوات الأخيرة في التصعيد تحتاج لخريطة طريق نحو الحرب والفوز بها، وادعاء واشنطن بامتلاكها كذبة ستفضحها كل محاولة للعب بالنار في منطقة تقف على برميل بارود، ربما تكون كلفة الحروب فيه أعلى بكثير من كلفة التسويات، مع فارق أن بين خاسر وخاسر سيختلف الوضع كثيراً. فهناك مَن سيخسر مكانته العالمية كحال أميركا ووجوده كحال «إسرائيل» ونظام حكمه كحال أنظمة الخليج، فوق الخسائر البشرية والمادية المؤلمة التي سيتساوى فيها مع إيران وحلفائها.

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CENTCOM Video Not Enough to Blame Iran for Tanker Attacks

By Staff, Agencies

The alleged video footage released by the US military to blame Iran for the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman was disputed even by Washington’s allies and Western analysts.

Less than a day after the US Central Command [CENTCOM] released the video late Thursday purportedly showing “Iranian sailors” removing a mine from the Japanese-owned Kokura Courageous’ hull earlier in the day, European governments — except for Britain — have so far refused to accept the US’ narrative that Tehran was to blame for the “suspicious” attacks.

They are reluctant to accept the White House’s claims at face value, and do not want to provide Washington with any pretext for war.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday the video is not sufficient to prove the US claim that Iran was behind the attacks.

“The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me,” Maas, who was in Iran earlier this week on an official two-day visit, told reporters in Oslo.

Nathalie Tocci, a senior adviser to European foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini also rejected the US allegations, saying, “Before we blame someone, we need credible evidence.”

Iranians are deeply rational actors, she said. And for Iran to have attacked a Japanese ship when the Japanese prime minister was in Tehran “is not an especially rational thing to do.”

In the released video, a small boat is shown coming up to the side of the Japanese-owned tanker. An individual stands up on the bow of the boat and can be seen removing an object from the tanker’s hull. The US claims that the object is likely an unexploded mine.

“At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous,” the CENTCOM said in a statement.

The claim, however, was soon rejected by the Japanese ship’s operator, whose president said on Friday its sailors on board the Kokuka Courageous saw “flying objects” just before the attack, suggesting the tanker wasn’t damaged by mines.

“The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole,” President Yutaka Katada of Kokuka Sangyo told a press conference in Tokyo. “Then some crew witnessed the second shot.”

The video was also disputed by Western investigative journalists and defense analysts.

Investigative historian and journalist Gareth Porter said he had “written to the CENTCOM media desk to ask why the video the command has released does not show what happened before the moment something is removed from the side of the boat.”

The investigative journalism website Bellingcat also wrote that “there’s currently no evidence to verify what was removed from the side of the vessel was a mine, and there’s no evidence at the moment about who placed it there, so claiming it was a mine placed by the Iranians is pure conjecture at this point in time.”

Some analysts and observers even questioned the authenticity of the video, arguing that the US military has edited the video to make it misleading.

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تونس: سائحون صهاينة يهتفون باسم جيش الاحتلال

يونيو 14, 2019

دان الاتحاد العام التونسي للشغل ما أسماه «استباحة أرض تونس من قبل الصهاينة وبتواطؤ من جهات سياسية وأخرى تعمل في مجال السياح»، وذلك على خلفية ما بثته قناة اسرائيلية عن زيارة «إسرائيليين» لمنزل الشهيد الفلسطيني أبو جهاد في تونس، وظهورهم وهم يهتفون باسم الكيان الصهيوني وجيش الاحتلال.

كما دان اتحاد الشغل في بيان له التصريحات الإعلامية لوزير السياحة و»محاولته التغطية على ما حدث ويحدث في مجال التطبيع السياحي بالتهرّب ومغالطة الرأي العام»، مؤكداً رفضه تبرير التطبيع بتبرير الأزمة الاقتصادية وحاجة البلاد إلى تنمية سياحتها.

وجدّد مطالبته بالتحقيق في أنشطة إحدى الشركات السياحية التي تقوم برحلات إلى الأراضي الفسطينية المحتلة بالتنسيق مع جيش الاحتلال الصهيوني، محملاً الحكومة مسؤوليتها في اتخاذ الإجراءات القانونية لمنع كل أشكال التطبيع ومحاسبة القائمين عليه مهما كان موقعهم ومكانتهم.

وعبر عن تجنّده مع المجتمع المدني والقوى الوطنية من أجل مقاومة التطبيع بشتى أشكاله ومن أجل فرض قانون يجرّم التطبيع، داعياً كافة القوى الوطنية إلى استعمال كافة النضالات السلمية لوقف «هرولة البعض إلى التطبيع».

وأكد الأمين العام المساعد بالاتحاد العام التونسي للشغل محمد علي البوغديري رفض الاتحاد بشكل قاطع التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني، مشدداً على أن ما جرى عار على الحكومة.

وقال إنه قد تبيّن أن «هناك تطبيعاً من قبل الحكومة مع الكيان الصهيوني للأسف، والتونسيون لن يقبلوا ذلك، معتبراً أن ما جرى يُعدّ استفزازاً».

في حين أكد عضو المكتب السياسي بحركة النضال الوطني أحمد الكحلاوي أن تقرير القناة الصهيونية عرض مشاهد من أمام منزل الشهيد محمد الزواري، معتبراً أن الهدف هو تدريج عملية التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني.

وكان وزير الخارجية التونسي خميس الجهيناوي نفى علمه بكامل المعطيات المتعلقة بالتقارير الإعلامية حول زيارة صهاينة إلى تونس.

من جهته، اعتبر سالم الأبيض عضو مجلس نواب الشعب عن حركة الشعب أن مرافقة رئيس الحكومة للوفد الصهيوني في تونس هو وصمة عار، مضيفاً في كلمة له في البرلمان أن الحكومة التونسية تقف صامتة أمام ما يحدث من ارتباطات لتونسيين بالكيان الصهيوني.

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Another Gaza Medic Killed On Duty By Israel As Society Asks, “Where Is The Justice?” — Rebel Voice

It was a difficult moment for the wife of Mohammad Al-Judaily when she heard that he had succumbed to his wounds. The paramedic was 37 years old when he was shot in the face by an Israeli sniper while providing first aid to participants in Gaza’s Great March of Return protests on 3 May.“At first,”… via […]

via Another Gaza Medic Killed On Duty By Israel As Society Asks, “Where Is The Justice?” — Rebel Voice

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