Iran

There now exists the possibility that the tanker may have been sent false GPS signals to lure it into a trap.

The disruption of GPS has been around for a while and it is suspected that both Russia and Iran have used it.
When a tanker vanishes, all the evidence points to Russia | WIRED UK

This is an escalation of simply checking tankers as the Iranians have claimed or deliberate intrusion by foreign ships into their waters.
MI6 probe if seized British tanker was given ‘spoofed’ Iran coordinates by Russian spies
 
Saw a report on German TV this morning called Auslandsjournal, which gives brief reports on foreign matters. Included was a report from Iran in which a German journo interviewed Iranians, the reaction to the siezure of tankers was mixed and varied between "we're defending our interests" to "we need to stop this and talk".
It seems remarkable that a western journo could actually do that and that one Iranian indirectly critisized action by Iranian armed forces. All that in a country not exactly well known for its love of democracy and freedom of speech.
 
Iran is hurting financially, and acting in the way is has been recently as a result. Funds for normal functioning is tight, and, more importantly, for its less desirable activities and operations in Syria Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen. These for a long while now serious destabilising agents in a dangerous part of the world where Iran wants to be the major power broker.

Its present activities in the Straits of Hormuz has been one way it where it can demonstrate its power, exert pressure for getting sanctions lifted, and actions which could raise the price of oil and therefor increase its revenue from what oil it can sell to various countries. These now dwindling as S Korea, Japan, India China and Turkey are all effected by US sanction laws.

The problem is that the U.S. is all for an economic solution to denying Iran nuclear weapons and by shooting down the US drone has intensified that pressure. By now illegally taking a British flagged tanker, Iran has made its relations with the Europeans more difficult. If it had hope to split the US and Europe on sanctions their last actions may be making its situation worse rather than better.

There is also anger within the country regarding the current economic situation and the Iranian establishment's mismanagement and rampant corruption, and making it more unpopular with its funding of the various terror groups with money that’s needed at home.
 
World leaders met on Sunday in Vienna to discuss how to tray to hold the Iran nuclear deal together.
www.cbc.ca/news/world/iran-nuclear-deal-meeting-vienna-1.5228080?cmp=rss
Representatives from Europe, China and Russia, nations that are still committed to the Iran nuclear deal, were meeting with Iran's representative in Vienna on Sunday to discuss how to salvage the unravelling accord.
Shortly before the meeting the Iranian deputy foreign minister said that there needs to be an urgent meeting of the Joint Commission to discuss recent events.
Hours before Sunday's meeting, Iran's deputy foreign minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi said in Vienna that, "in the last month, there have been a lot of developments regarding the [deal] that made it necessary to have another round of the Joint Commission meeting urgently," Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported.
There is no further news yet as to what the outcome of the meeting is.
 
Saw a report on German TV this morning called Auslandsjournal, which gives brief reports on foreign matters. Included was a report from Iran in which a German journo interviewed Iranians, the reaction to the siezure of tankers was mixed and varied between "we're defending our interests" to "we need to stop this and talk".
It seems remarkable that a western journo could actually do that and that one Iranian indirectly critisized action by Iranian armed forces. All that in a country not exactly well known for its love of democracy and freedom of speech.

IRGC are not the Iranian armed forces.

The nearest analogue is the SS in Nazi German, run along the same lines, a private ideologically pure military within the State with huge commercial interests and hated by the ‘real’ military.

FWIW, Iran is now effectively a non secular State. After 40 years, the mosques are empty bar a few old men and the odd zealots.
Even the few stage managed protests after a Friday prayers are a shadow of their former selves. At best you get a few busloads of paid rent a mob bussed in to half heartedly mutter Mars Bar Amrika for the bored cameraman.

The Regime can’t trust the Air Force or Navy, the Army is also seen as a threat after it made it known during the abortive Green Revolution it wasn’t going to turn on the people.

The IRGC are now the tail wagging the Dog, more interested in money making and mischief making outside Iran, and with a hugely powerful and influential leader in Qasem Soleimani who may very well take a punt at President next time round..

The only force the Mullahs can rely on are the rent a thug paramilitary Basij
 
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Iran’s economy is riddled with corruption. Nearly half of GDP accounted for by the ‘charitable' foundations which were originally supposed to administer funds on behalf of the people, but actually is siphoned off by the senior leaders. This has discouraged investors, reduced market liquidity, increases inflation and widened the gap between rich and poor.

It needs serious anti-corruption reform and increased overseas investment. But where to go for the amounts needed. The US and Europe for the time being are not available. Russia doesn’t have the funds and China unwilling for the time being. In neither case is their technology as attractive or comparable to that of the West.

Much of present oil revenues goes to the religious leadership, then spent on their political exploits fomenting trouble abroad with too little going to the middle and lower classes who know money is coming in from their oil but too little seen by them. They are increasingly aware that their leaders pursuit of the nuclear weapon has created these present sanctions which are resulting in greater misery and hardship for them.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was voted president, not to pursue nuclear weapons, but to reform the economy and fight corruption, neither of which happened. When he announced the distribution of shares of Iranian publicly-held industries to the entire populace, rumours spread that this was the first step to seizure and redistribution of private industries and other assets. The result a vast flight of capital out of Iran, possibly on the order of $200 billion. This, with his call to wipe Israel off the map and Tehran’s “World without Zionism” conference caused the Tehran stock market to collapse and the slide towards Iran’s present economic chaos.

The radical hardliners in power in Iran and Revolutionary Guard leadership in charge of the ‘Revolution’ firmly believe that sacrifices must be made by the people to get the bomb which they feel is essential for Iran’s survival as a major power, and to continue the foreign policy of asymmetric war with the US who they see as the enemy and are not in favour of any improvement of relations with the West.

They are prepared to see the economy deteriorate as a necessary sacrifice. The conservatives in the middle simply want the economy not to collapse, and the reformers who want corruption to be cracked down on more distribution of wealth and are willing to forgo the nuclear weapon to see a more prosperous Iran rejoin the world community and the West. The nuclear question lies at the heart of the internal struggle that is going on in Iran.

Any military action by the West can only further the hardliners cause increase the importance of acquiring nuclear weapons to deter future American or Israeli military operations, and many Iranians probably then more willing to tolerate economic problems if they believed it necessary to make sacrifices to fight a war against the United States. It would discredit the reformists and the pragmatists for having argued for better relations with the West and the US and simply provide an excuse for the hardliners to tighten the grip and violently suppress even the mildest forms of dissent to their policies.

Any military operation in return for the present provocations will have the same effect as Western failure to deal firmly with Iran’s nuclear program. It will allow Iran’s radical hardliners to isolate any reformists and pragmatists and to tighten their total control over Iranian policy and governmental organisation.

If the international community is willing to impose economic sanctions on Iran to force it into abandoning its nuclear program, it stands the chance of making the leadership choose between Iran’s economic collapse which will prevent the further pursuit of the ideals of the revolution, or give up their nuclear program in return for a lifting of sanctions, trade and investment. There might also be an additional loosening of the political system because the reformists have typically been less willing to use force to deal with internal dissent.

The present hardliners efforts to procure nuclear fuel for little obvious civilian purpose, its present aggressive defiance of the international community, and rejection of compromises by the EU makes it likely that for the immediate future they will remain an international pariah. The economy is the most likely to be the key to persuading them to give up the nuclear ambitions complying with missile accords, rejoin the international community and allow Iran to become the prosperous nation it has the potential to be.
 
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The Millionaire Mullahs

Ayatollah Rafsanjani was so filthy rich, he was sneeringly referred to by Iranians as Akbar Shah.

Bit ‘rich’ the EU huffing and puffing about the Mullahs, they have untold Billions in numbered bank accounts across Europe, and any luxury goods Iran’s wealthy require come via the Gulf states who drive a coach and camels through sanctions.
 
Commander of the Iranian Army's Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced on Monday that Iran and Russia have agreed to conduct another joint military exercise in some specific areas of the Indian Ocean by the year end.
“A coordination meeting will be held between the two sides in this regard,” he said while in Moscow on his three-day visit to Russia.
“By Indian Ocean we mean a significant area in northern parts of the ocean including Makran Sea, Strait of Hormuz and also the Persian Gulf,” Khanzadi added.
He also informed that during his trip to Russia, General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran signed an MoU with Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to expand mutual ties.
"This is the first MoU of its kind and can be regarded as a turning point in Tehran-Moscow military relations," he added.
It looks as Moscow has made strategic decision to develop military cooperation with Iran. The times when Kremlin pressured by the West and Israel preferred to postpone delivery of S-300 AD system are in the past.
Iran could buy a lot of Russian made military hardware and pay by oil. Russia in this scheme would sell Iranian oil to India, China, to any country.
 



It looks as Moscow has made strategic decision to develop military cooperation with Iran. The times when Kremlin pressured by the West and Israel preferred to postpone delivery of S-300 AD system are in the past.
Iran could buy a lot of Russian made military hardware and pay by oil. Russia in this scheme would sell Iranian oil to India, China, to any country.
You mean Russia would buy oil from Iran and subject itself to more US sanctions? Stand by for ‘victim card’ deployment and lots of wailing whilst you will say sanctions have no effect.
 
Good luck stopping Chinese or Indian tankers to check their cargoes.
Even better luck stopping Russian ships loading at Iranian ports on the Caspian Sea
Yes, Russia (at least in theory) could export more oil to China and elsewhere and use Iranian oil received through Caspian sea for internal consumption. It would not violate any sanctions (I mean any legitimate international sanctions).
You mean Russia would buy oil from Iran and subject itself to more US sanctions?
What do you mean by 'more US sanctions'? What exactly? Almost all possible sanctions against Russia were imposed while Moscow has a room to hurt US interests in different directions (on Israeli one for example).
 
Yes, Russia (at least in theory) could export more oil to China and elsewhere and use Iranian oil received through Caspian sea for internal consumption. It would not violate any sanctions (I mean any legitimate international sanctions).
Which I suspect is exactly what Russia will do.
 
Yes, Russia (at least in theory) could export more oil to China and elsewhere and use Iranian oil received through Caspian sea for internal consumption. It would not violate any sanctions (I mean any legitimate international sanctions).
Are there not sanctions on the import of oil from Iran? Are there not exemptions for a period of time?
What do you mean by 'more US sanctions'? What exactly? Almost all possible sanctions against Russia were imposed while Moscow has a room to hurt US interests in different directions (on Israeli one for example).
I mean there are quite a few sanctions on Russian individuals and company’s already. Further sanctions if you acquire oil from Iran without exemptions eg the companies which do so could be sanctioned.
 
Are there not sanctions on the import of oil from Iran? Are there not exemptions for a period of time?
The UN sanctions against Iran do not include oil exports from Iran.
The sanctions on the import of oil from Iran are not international. They are US sanctions.
I mean there are quite a few sanctions on Russian individuals and company’s already. Further sanctions if you acquire oil from Iran without exemptions eg the companies which do so could be sanctioned.
As I see you (being fed by Reuters agitprop) are not well aware about anti-Russian sanctions. They include
Directive 1, as amended, prohibits the following transactions by U.S. persons and within the United States: (1) all transactions in, provisions of financing for, and other dealings in new debt of longer than 30 days maturity...
Directive 4 prohibits the following transactions by U.S. persons and within the United States: providing, exporting, or reexporting, directly or indirectly, goods, services (except for financial services), or technology in support of exploration or production for deep-p-water, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that have the potential to produce oil in the Russian Federation...
If fact existing sanctions (supported by the EU, Canada, Australia and some other countries) allow only short-term loans to Russia, Russian banks and companies and prohibit any technological cooperation in some important areas.
The sanctions are not only about some 'individuals'.
 
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The sanctions on the import of oil from Iran are not international. They are US sanctions.
Which is what I said
As I see you (being fed by Reuters agitprop) are not well aware about anti-Russian sanctions. They include
Ah, ‘angry Sergey’, I wondered where he’d gone
If fact existing sanctions (supported by the EU, Canada, Australia and some other countries) allow only short-term loans to Russia, Russian banks and companies and prohibit any technological cooperation in some important areas.
The sanctions are not only about some 'individuals'.
Did I say only individuals?

Meanwhile, in the real world. Does Russia have a waiver? An exemption?
Washington, however, gave a six-month waiver to eight nations including India, allowing them to import some Iranian oil until early May. India, Iran’s top oil client after China, was allowed to buy about 9 million barrels a month.
 
Iran’s economy is riddled with corruption. Nearly half of GDP accounted for by the ‘charitable' foundations which were originally supposed to administer funds on behalf of the people, but actually is siphoned off by the senior leaders. This has discouraged investors, reduced market liquidity, increases inflation and widened the gap between rich and poor.

It needs serious anti-corruption reform and increased overseas investment. But where to go for the amounts needed. The US and Europe for the time being are not available. Russia doesn’t have the funds and China unwilling for the time being. In neither case is their technology as attractive or comparable to that of the West.

Much of present oil revenues goes to the religious leadership, then spent on their political exploits fomenting trouble abroad with too little going to the middle and lower classes who know money is coming in from their oil but too little seen by them. They are increasingly aware that their leaders pursuit of the nuclear weapon has created these present sanctions which are resulting in greater misery and hardship for them.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was voted president, not to pursue nuclear weapons, but to reform the economy and fight corruption, neither of which happened. When he announced the distribution of shares of Iranian publicly-held industries to the entire populace, rumours spread that this was the first step to seizure and redistribution of private industries and other assets. The result a vast flight of capital out of Iran, possibly on the order of $200 billion. This, with his call to wipe Israel off the map and Tehran’s “World without Zionism” conference caused the Tehran stock market to collapse and the slide towards Iran’s present economic chaos.

The radical hardliners in power in Iran and Revolutionary Guard leadership in charge of the ‘Revolution’ firmly believe that sacrifices must be made by the people to get the bomb which they feel is essential for Iran’s survival as a major power, and to continue the foreign policy of asymmetric war with the US who they see as the enemy and are not in favour of any improvement of relations with the West.

They are prepared to see the economy deteriorate as a necessary sacrifice. The conservatives in the middle simply want the economy not to collapse, and the reformers who want corruption to be cracked down on more distribution of wealth and are willing to forgo the nuclear weapon to see a more prosperous Iran rejoin the world community and the West. The nuclear question lies at the heart of the internal struggle that is going on in Iran.

Any military action by the West can only further the hardliners cause increase the importance of acquiring nuclear weapons to deter future American or Israeli military operations, and many Iranians probably then more willing to tolerate economic problems if they believed it necessary to make sacrifices to fight a war against the United States. It would discredit the reformists and the pragmatists for having argued for better relations with the West and the US and simply provide an excuse for the hardliners to tighten the grip and violently suppress even the mildest forms of dissent to their policies.

Any military operation in return for the present provocations will have the same effect as Western failure to deal firmly with Iran’s nuclear program. It will allow Iran’s radical hardliners to isolate any reformists and pragmatists and to tighten their total control over Iranian policy and governmental organisation.

If the international community is willing to impose economic sanctions on Iran to force it into abandoning its nuclear program, it stands the chance of making the leadership choose between Iran’s economic collapse which will prevent the further pursuit of the ideals of the revolution, or give up their nuclear program in return for a lifting of sanctions, trade and investment. There might also be an additional loosening of the political system because the reformists have typically been less willing to use force to deal with internal dissent.

The present hardliners efforts to procure nuclear fuel for little obvious civilian purpose, its present aggressive defiance of the international community, and rejection of compromises by the EU makes it likely that for the immediate future they will remain an international pariah. The economy is the most likely to be the key to persuading them to give up the nuclear ambitions complying with missile accords, rejoin the international community and allow Iran to become the prosperous nation it has the potential to be.
I am no expert on international affairs, but Iran just may, just may, have missed an opportunity to establish more normal relationship with the U.S. just after 9/11 when the U.S. was in turmoil and just before the Iraq war.
 

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