خان شيخون ترسم معادلات المنطقة

 

أغسطس 19, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– مع دخول الجيش السوري إلى خان شيخون الذي بدأت بشائره ليل أمس باعتراف الأطراف المعادية للدولة السورية بحجم الإنجاز المحقق في الميدان، تكون صفحة محورية في معادلات المنطقة قد كتبت وفقاً لمشيئة سورية والمقاومة وروسيا وإيران ببسط سلطة الدولة السورية على كامل ترابها حتى الحدود التي كانت عليها قبل أعوام. والأكيد الذي تقوله كل ساحات الاشتباك من مياه الخليج والبر اليمني مروراً بالعراق وفلسطين ولبنان أن لا مجال لتغيير في خريطة الجغرافيا العسكرية بين محوري المواجهة إلا في سورية، محور سورية وحلفائها ومقابله محور واشنطن وجماعاتها من حكام الخليج الذين يموّلون جبهة النصرة وأخواتها إلى كيان الاحتلال الذي قدّم كل مؤازرة نارية ممكنة لإشغال الجيش السوري وأصدر التهديدات لإرباك الحلفاء، وانتهاء بتركيا التي راهنت على جبهة النصرة أملاً بتشريع وجودها العسكري في محافظة إدلب كخيار وحيد.

– الأميركي الذي ألغى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران كرمى لعيون أمن كيان الاحتلال، ووضع تمركزه في سورية في كفة موازية للوجود الإيراني والمقاوم عارضاً المقايضة بينهما في كل لحظة، كان يدرك بقوة أن لا أمل من حرب يهدّد بخوضها على إيران، ومثله كان يدرك كل المحور الذي يعمل تحت مظلته أن الكلمة الفصل ستقولها معارك سورية، ومفتاح رسم معادلاتها في خان شيخون، فأمن كيان الاحتلال كشرط لتسويات حروب المنطقة يتقرّر هناك. وقد قال أنصار الله إن لا جدوى من الرهان على لعبة الشد والجذب في الخليج. وقالت إيران إن الملاحة النفطية بيدها ومستقبل الملف النووي بيدها والعقوبات لا ترهبها. وقالت المقاومة في فلسطين وفي لبنان إن لا أحد يشتري عروض التحييد لقاء الترغيب، ولا أحد يخشى التهديد، وصارت كل الأنظار تتجه نحو ما سيجري على جبهات القتال حيث الفرصة الوحيدة لإنتاج توازنات جديدة.

– راهن الأميركيون على جبهة النصرة وأخواتها، لأنهم يرون خصوصية في معركة إدلب لا تتوافر لما قبلها ما يجعل مهمة الجيش السوري برأيهم معقدة إلى حد الاستحالة، ومثلهم راهن الأتراك وراهن الإسرائيليون ومعهم حكام الخليج وفعل كل منهم ما يملك أن يفعله لجعل الرهان ممكناً. وبالمقابل كان قرار لا رهان، قرار سوري أصلاً، لكنه واثق من صدق دعم الحليف الروسي ومن ثبات إيران وقوى المقاومة معه في قراره. والقرار أن خان شيخون ستكون في عهدة الجيش السوري والحرب ستقول الكلمة الفصل، وإن العوامل الحاسمة في المعارك السابقة ستبقى حاسمة في معارك إدلب، ولا تعترف بالخصوصية إلا باعتماد تكتيكات تناسبها، لكن الدولة السورية بقوة ما تمثل من أمل للسوريين ومن موقع في خريطة القوة للحلفاء، تملك أسباب النصر.

– خان شيخون تشكل عقدة الوصل والفصل في مناطق سيطرة الجماعات الإرهابية وتحريرها فاتحة لتهاوي حجارة الدومينو عسكرياً، لكنه سياسياً سيحمل الكثير من الغييرات في سورية أولاً وفي الخليج أيضاً وفي فلسطين وفي لبنان وفي العراق، كما كل معركة فاصلة في تاريخ الحرب على سورية من القصير إلى القلمون فحلب وصولاً إلى دير الزور والبوكمال والبداية والغوطة ودرعا.

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Gibraltar releases Iran-operated tanker despite US pressure

Press TV

Thu Aug 15, 2019 02:40PM [Updated: Thu Aug 15, 2019 04:35PM ]

This file photo taken on July 20, 2019, shows Gibraltar defense police officers guarding the Iranian-operated oil tanker Grace 1 as it sits anchored after being seized last month by British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar, southern Spain. (Photo by Reuters)

This file photo taken on July 20, 2019, shows Gibraltar defense police officers guarding the Iranian-operated oil tanker Grace 1 as it sits anchored after being seized last month by British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar, southern Spain. (Photo by Reuters)

Gibraltar’s government has released an Iranian-operated supertanker, which was seized by British marines in the Strait of Gibraltar on July 4, despite pressure from the United States for the vessel’s continued detainment.

“Authorities in Gibraltar have released the Iranian supertanker Grace 1, which was seized on July 4 on suspicion it was shipping 2.1 million barrels of crude oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions,” Reuters quoted the Gibraltar Chronicle as reporting on Thursday.

According to the report, the chief justice of Gibraltar’s supreme court, Anthony Dudley, said there was no US application currently before the court.

Chief Justice Anthony Dudley said that since Iran had guaranteed in writing that the destination of the Grace 1 would not be a country “subject to European Union sanctions… there are no longer reasonable grounds to suspect that the detention of the Vessel is required.”

Spain’s Foreign Ministry reported after the incident that the UK had seized the vessel at the request of the US, which has been trying to trouble Iran’s international oil vessels as part of its campaign of economic pressure against the Islamic Republic.

Gibraltar Chronicle

@GibChronicle

Authorities in 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.

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Earlier on Thursday, Gibraltar said that the US had applied to seize the Iranian-operated oil tanker after British media reported that the vessel’s release was imminent following a set of diplomatic exchanges between Tehran and London.

“The US Department of Justice has applied to seize the Grace 1 on a number of allegations which are now being considered,” the Gibraltar government said in a statement.

It added that the “matter will return to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar at 4 p.m. (1400 GMT) today.”

A diplomatic dispute broke out between Iran and the UK on July 4, when Britain’s naval forces unlawfully seized Grace 1 and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar under the pretext that the supertanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the Arab country.

However, reports show the confiscation took place upon a call by the US.

Tehran rejected London’s claim that the tanker was heading to Syria, slamming the seizure as “maritime piracy.”

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization said Tuesday that Britain was expected to soon free Grace 1, after the two sides exchanged certain documents to pave the way for the supertanker’s release.

Iran’s FM: Trump’s piracy attempt indicates his contempt for law

Soon after the report emerged about the release of the Iranian-operated tanker, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter noting that the seizure of the tanker proved the Trump administration’s contempt for the law.

“This piracy attempt is indicative of Trump admin’s contempt for the law,” Iran’s top diplomat said.

Javad Zarif

@JZarif

Having failed to accomplish its objectives through its —including depriving cancer patients of medicine— the US attempted to abuse the legal system to steal our property on the high seas.

This piracy attempt is indicative of Trump admin’s contempt for the law.

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Zarif added that the US effort to prevent release of the Iranian tanker was aimed at abusing “the legal system to steal our property on the high seas.”

He said this vain attempt followed the US failure in achieving its anti-Iranian goals through economic terrorism.

‘US faced humiliating defeat in its effort to prevent tanker’s release’

Following the decision by the Gibraltar court, Iran’s Ambassador to UK Hamid Baeidinejad said in a tweet on his official Twitter page that the decision by the officials of Gibraltar put an end to 40 days of illegal seizure of the tanker, which carries the Iranian oil.

Hamid Baeidinejad@baeidinejad

لحظاتی پیش با تصمیم مقامات جبل الطارق و تایید دادگاه، نفتکش حامل نفت ایران از توقیف غیرقانونی آزاد گردید.کشورمان درتمامی۴۰ روز گذشته بامشارکت نهادهای ذیربط داخلی تحت مدیریت وزارت خارجه گفتگوهای مستمری در سطح سیاسی،حقوقی و فنی با طرف انگلیسی برای رفع این اقدام غیرقانونی انجام داد.

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“Up to the last minute, the United States tried in vain to prevent the release of the tanker, but was faced with a humiliating defeat,” Iran’s UK envoy added.

Hamid Baeidinejad@baeidinejad

آمریکا با تلاشهای مذبوحانه ی آخرین لحظه ی خود قصد داشت مانع رفع توقیف نفتکش شود که با شکست تحقیرآمیزی مواجه شد.
با تلاشهای روزهای گذشته تمام مقدمات و تمهیدات فنی لازم برای حرکت نفتکش به دریای آزاد نیز تامین شده است و کشتی بزودی منطقه ی جبل الطارق را ترک خواهد نمود.

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Baeidinejad stated that all preliminary steps have been taken to ensure the tanker’s movement toward free waters and “the vessel will soon leave the Gibraltar region.”
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Iran: UK to Release Iranian Oil Tanker Soon

By Staff- Agencies

Iran revealed on Tuesday that its oil tanker Grace 1 that was seized by the UK in Gibraltar’s waters in July is going to be released in the near future.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the deputy director of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran for maritime affairs, Jaleel Eslami, said the UK is going to let Iran’s supertanker go.

The UK has seized Iran’s supertanker deliberately, he deplored, adding that the documents on the settlement of the issue have already been exchanged between Iran and the UK.

“They [the UK officials] have voiced willingness for the resolution of the problem,” Eslami stated.

He said the Iranian oil tanker will soon be released and resume sailing freely with the flag of Iran.

Following Iran’s move to capture a British oil tanker that had violated the maritime law in the Strait of Hormuz, the US and the UK tried to carry out a plan for restrictions on maritime traffic in the strait, but their ploy ended in failure after it was given the cold shoulder by other countries, Eslami added.

On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized the giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had warned London that it will definitely pay the price for the illegal seizure of Grace 1 in international waters.

Gibraltar Says to Ease Standoff with Iran over Tanker Seizure

Gibraltar on Tuesday said it plans to de-escalate tensions with Iran over the seizure of Grace 1 supertanker, reinvigorating hopeful speculations that it might release the large vessel soon.

Gibraltar announced on Tuesday it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention of the Grace 1 tanker 40 days ago.

Calling seizure of Grace 1 as “lawful”, a spokesman for Gibraltar said “we continue to seek to de-escalate issues rising since the detention”, adding that the current detention order on the vessel expires on Saturday night.

Fars News Agency@EnglishFars

Captured-Tanker Captain: British Troops Used Excessive Force Against Unarmed Crewhttp://fna.ir/dbboh7 

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In early July, British marines and Gibraltar police seized an Iranian tanker off the Southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo claimed that the ship was transporting crude oil to Syria “in violation” of the EU sanctions placed on Damascus. Washington has applauded the move, hailing it as a sign that Europe is on board with the US’ unilateral sanctions against Iran.

Iran condemned the “illegal move” of London and described it as “tantamount to piracy”. Tehran accused the UK of doing Washington’s bidding and helping the US attempt to stifle the Islamic Republic’s oil exports, rejecting London’s claim that the supertanker was carrying crude for Syria.

The recent moves by foreign powers in the Middle East such as US sanctions on Tehran’s oil, UK seizure of Iranian supertanker, as well as, “sabotage operations” on oil ships have intensified the turmoil in the region and the turmoil in the international energy market, affecting global crude prices in recent months.

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British Marines Used ‘Excessive Force’ While Seizing Iranian-operated Tanker – Captain

By Staff, Agencies

The captain of an Iranian-operated supertanker that has been seized by the UK said the British marines used excessive force while detaining the vessel in the Strait of Gibraltar off Spain.

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, the captain, an Indian national, said he received a radio call for police to board his ship and that he lowered the ladder at the time of the incident on July 4.

But instead of police boarding, he said, a military helicopter landed on the ship in “a very dangerous move,” and about 30 marines disembarked.

He said the marines then acted aggressively even though the crew was unarmed.

“How do you come on a ship like this with armed forces and such brute force? For what reason?” he said.

He said he identified himself as the captain, but the marines ignored him and instead had his unarmed crew kneel at gunpoint, shouting “Look forward, look forward!”

“They didn’t care whether I was master… there was no regulations… we had 28 unarmed crew. I was in a state of shock, everybody was in a state of shock,” the captain said.

The marines could have boarded the ship and simply told him he had been arrested, he said.

This is while Gibraltar police had earlier claimed that “minimum force” was used to detain the vessel.

The British naval forces seized the supertanker Grace 1 on the allegation that it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of the European Union [EU]’s unilateral sanctions on the Arab country.

Iran denied that the vessel was heading for Syria, and Spain later said that London had ordered the confiscation at the request of the United States, which has been trying to hamper Iran’s international oil sales.

Tensions escalated quickly between Tehran and London after the illegal seizure.

Later in the month, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker sailing in the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf because it refused to stop after hitting an Iranian fishing boat, a violation of international maritime rules.

Tehran has sternly cautioned London against attempting further provocation.

Britain has, however, dispatched two warships — the HMS Duncan and the HMS Montros — to the Gulf under the pretext of trying to “protect” the British ships sailing in the waters.

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Don’t Interfere in My Operation: Iran’s IRGC Tells UK Warship (+Video)

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy released a video on Monday in which its forces warn a British warship escorting a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

The video shows a recent operation of the IRGC Navy, in which the naval forces take control over a tanker named British Heritage.

Also, when the UK warship wants to interfere in the IRGC’s mission, the vessel receives a warning from the IRGC forces.

The British warship is the same vessel that escorted the oil tanker “Stena Impero”, which was seized by the IRGC Navy on July 19.

“British Navy Warship F-236, this is Sepah (IRGC) Navy warship; the tanker British Heritage is under my control; you are ordered not to interfere in my operation,” the IRGC commander warns the British warship in the footage.

See the Video here and here

The IRGC also released recordings of another incident on July 10.

US media reports had claimed that five armed Iranian boats attempted to seize the British tanker in the strategic strait but were driven off by a Royal Navy vessel.

CNN, citing two US officials, reported on July 10 that the Iranians ordered the British Heritage oil tanker crossing the strait to change course and stop in Iranian territorial waters nearby.

But the incident ended when the British warship, HMS Montrose, which was acting as an escort for the tanker, pointed its guns at the Iranian boats as a warning, forcing them to back off, CNN said.

The video footage came amid renewed tensions in the Persian Gulf where Iran has refused to release Stena Impero since it was seized on July 19 for violation of maritime rules.

The incident came two weeks after British marine forces boarded a supertanker laden with Iranian oil near the coast of Gibraltar.

The British Royal Marines seized the giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on July 4 for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of EU sanctions.

Tehran maintains that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the British envoy to Tehran several times since the capture in protest at the UK navy’s move.

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Rouhani: Foreign Forces Main Source of Tension in the Region

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that any presence of foreign forces in the Gulf will only cause even more tension in the region, amid reports that the UK and the US are pushing for a joint force to escort oil tankers as they pass through the Strait of Hormuz off Iran.

Iran makes constant efforts to ensure the Sea of Oman, the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz remain safe passageways for international shipping, Rouhani said during a meeting with visiting Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi in Tehran on Sunday.

“The presence of foreign forces wouldn’t help the regional security, and if anything, it would actually be the main source of tension,” he added.

The remarks come as both the UK and the US are leading two sharply different plans for patrols in the Gulf.

Washington has been pushing for a scheme whereby nations protect their own ships but partake in joint operations to monitor the waterways to prevent incidents.

The administration of US President Donald Trump claims that the patrols are needed to protect the ships from threats it says are coming from Iran, following several mysterious attacks that damaged oil tankers and cargo ships in the Sea of Oman over the past weeks.

The US and some of its allies have blamed Iran for the attacks, a claim Tehran has vehemently denied. Iranian officials have warned countries in the region to watch out for false flags by “foreign players.”

The UK, on the other hand, has been trying to put together a European force to protect vessels moving through the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker this month for attempting to flee the scene of a collision with an Iranian fishing boat in violation of international rules.

Tensions flared up between London and Tehran after the UK navy seized Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar, claiming that it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of the European Union’s sanctions against Damascus.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani told Bin Alawi that London’s move was illegal and would prove “costly” for them.

Rouhani asserted that Iran continues to stand against any breaches of law that endangers the safety of shipping in the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

He argued that all of the regional issues were connected and, therefore, every government in the region needed to help maintain peace and stability there.

Reconstructing Syria and paving the way for Syrian refugees to return, ending the Saudi-led war on Yemen and stopping ongoing “Israeli” crimes against the people of Palestine were some of the key issues that he said had to be resolved.

Rouhani reiterated that Tehran has never started tensions in the region, unlike the American officials, whom he accused of causing frictions with their “delusions” and their decision to leave the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Bin Alawi, for his part, said Oman and Iran needed to overcome all challenges and help keep the region secure.

He emphasized that without Iran it was not possible to keep the region safe.

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Britain Foolishly Granted Iran the Control Over Strait of Hormuz

 

Strait of Hormuz - Iran's Dominance

Strait of Hormuz – Iran’s Dominance

Ironically it was the dumb foolish childish act of piracy by the British ‘Royal Navy’ of the Iranian shipment and ship that gave Iran the tools it needed to stretch its muscles in the Strait of Hormuz.

Later rejecting to defuse the problem by negotiations and instead of releasing the ship, Britain escalated the conflict by announcing it’s extending the piracy another 30 days the day on the day it was supposed to release the ship as per the agreement through direct negotiations with Iranian officials. Iran didn’t need more than to claim the rights to police the Strait of Hormuz and stop and inspect ships crossing through the Strait, and if needed it can confiscate any ship which it suspects is either a British ship, or carry British goods, or carrying any shipment t that Iran deems threatening to their national security, or to the national security of the Persian / Arabian Gulf.

We’re not discussing here the illegality of the British act of piracy applying its national laws on international shipping lines, nor we’re discussing the draconian western complete embargo on the Syrian people, we’re just looking at the consequences of the British act of piracy in Gibraltar (Jabal Tariq, if you may, named after the Islamic leader Tariq Bin Ziyad who introduced Islam to Spain)water passage on the power that should control the Strait of Hormuz.

Panama registered Grace 1 oil tanker carrying crude oil en route to Syria seized by Britain Pirates near occupied Gibraltar
Panama registered Grace 1 oil tanker carrying crude oil en route to Syria seized by Britain Pirates near occupied Gibraltar

The Iranian logic: If the strait of Gibraltar falls under the British responsibly to secure as per the British allegations, when that strait leads to so many nations in the Mediterranean and through it to further many others, on the justification that a British protectorate shores one side of that Strait, then that should also apply to the Strait of Hormuz, and that’s exactly what gave Iran the right to claim the security and passage through the Strait of Hormuz which controls the passage from and to smaller number of, and much smaller in size, countries, especially that Iran shoes a lot more of Strait of Hormuz than what British protectorate shores in Gibraltar.

What made the matter more complicated for the British officials is not only their arrogance and reviving old imperial dreams, hated around the world, but their own delusion that the USA would stand up for them when it failed every single other stooge it used in its long history of foreign interventions.

What solidified Iran’s position and claims is the yet another foolish act of European leading countries strong solidarity with Britain and their ill-calculated condemnation of Iranian confiscation of the British tanker. If they have instead taken a more balanced and more lawful position in this conflict they would have been able to play a positive rule in defusing the tensions, moreover, in saving the ugly face of Britain.

The British regime of Elizabeth the Second in blindly following the instructions of their US ally have embarrassed themselves to the extent that their top ‘defense’ officials during a high tension conflict with adversary nations had to confess they are under-budgeted, under-prepared, and incapable of protecting their own ships after filling the international arena with empty threats and bragging. Their ally, the United States of America, mostly known to dump their allies in moments of truths, served them well by further adding salt over the British humiliation wounds by stating their unwillingness to protect other countries’ ships leaving Britain very much naked in the woods.

Shipping Choke Points around the World - Straits of Hormuz, Gibraltar, and Malacca

Click on image for larger size – Map credit: The Geography of Transport Systems site

Though such precedent, if applied around the world might help countries like China control the vital water passages in their region, and other countries as well, it might be seen by countries with officials more dumb than the British like Turkey claiming control of the two water passages it shores The Bosporus and The Dardanelles and think of stopping Russian ships passing through using this new precedent. Although the Turkish president Erdogan and his advising team are known not to be of any smartness, especially in foreign policy, they wouldn’t dare to carry out such a foolish act the British did, Russia is at their doorsteps and the USA will be the first to dump them, as usual.

This British behavior has set the precedent of controlling vital water passages around the globe. Britain, in case people would forget, is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and on its shoulders relies the protection of free shipping lines around the world not promoting piracy of ships, and further worse, conducting piracy themselves.

The only way out of this conflict is the US, UK, and their allies to come to the Iranian terms in this matter and start negotiating their way out after the Iranians through their patience over ignorant arrogant international bullies managed to outsmart the self-proclaimed fake ‘International Community’.

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