Limit damages before it’s too late
Updated at Monday, 19 Aug 2019, 17:30
The Hanoitimes - There was more than enough evidence showing that the UK and Gibraltar had acted in deliberate violations of international law only in order to appease the US.
Despite the US's request and pressure to extend the detention of Iran's supertanker Grace 1, the British government and that of Gibraltar decided to release it. Gibraltarian authorities also rejected a US warrant to seize the tanker.
In early July, British Royal Marines arrested this Iranian vessel off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion that it breached the EU’s sanctions on Syria. Some days later, Iranian forces seized the British tanker Stena Impero in the Persian Gulf in retaliation. And the standoff between Iran and the UK escalated.
Iran's supertanker Grace 1
At first, the UK seized the tanker Grace 1 at the US’s request then the UK and Gibraltar freed it despite the US objection, including claim that this tanker has links with the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps which the US considers a terrorist force. And despite the fact, too, that the British tanker Stena Impero is still held captive in Iran.
It is no secret that the UK has been until now a very close ally of the US in almost all world affairs. Therefore, that the UK didn't comply with the US request concerning the fate of the seized Iranian tanker could only be something it had to do even though it was unwilling to. Releasing this tanker was the only way the UK can limit facial and political damages caused by the capture of this tanker without any plausible legitimation.
The UK explained the seizure of the tanker as it suspiciously breached the EU's sanctions on Syria without presenting any proof while there was more than enough evidence showing that the UK and Gibraltar had acted in deliberate violations of international law only in order to appease the US. That the EU remains silent instead of publicly showing political support for the UK is a convincing proof that the UK was more wrong than right with the capture of this Iranian tanker. And the longer this tanker was held captive by the UK and Gibraltar, the bigger the damages for Britain and Gibraltar would be. That is why Britain and Gibraltar must try to salvage themselves before it becomes too late and not sacrifice themselves for the US' interests.
Both the UK and the US were dealt a significant setback. The US will hardly succeed with its attempt to form a worldwide anti-Iran alliance; and the so-called "tanker war", that is, using the capture of each other's tankers as ways to carry out confrontations, will be averted.
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau