Tanker attacks Gulf of Oman 13/6/19

U.S. military releases new images from oil tanker attacks - Reuters


Further imagery of the (alleged) IRGC Navy patrol boat used to pick up the (alleged) limpet mine that failed to explode:
The U.S. military on Monday released new images it says showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) removing an unexploded limpet mine from a Japanese-owned tanker that was attacked on June 13 in the Gulf of Oman, as Washington blames Tehran for the attack.

“Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine,” the U.S. military’s Central Command said in a statement explaining the still-images.
The caption says it was taken by a MH-60R:
A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17, shows what the Pentagon says are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy photographed from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter after removing an unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous, a Japanese owned commercial motor tanker, after it was attacked with another mine which did explode on June 13, 2019. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
E2A: The Sky article has some of the other pictures. Linking them from Reuters isn't the easiest:
US sends more troops to the Middle East after claiming new photos link Iran to tanker blasts


 
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Just a little aside about how cultural references and history can be important.

Why is Britain an 'old fox' in the Iranian media?



I do like that the British Embassy is on Ferdowsi Avenue.

The street named for effectively the national Poet of Persia.

Ferdowsi - Wikipedia

Also a derivative of the "ferdows", or highest garden in paradise.

Not lost on Iranians, I am sure. Bit of love/hate there I think.
 
Seeing what modern torpedoes do - like breaking the back of a frigate - don't believe any were used, and the only thing the IDF is likely to deploy right now is popcorn as Shia/Sunni antagonism escalates .
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
If only the conspiracy theorists were to apply Occam's razor - only Iran has both means and, more importantly, motive.
 
The AA gun is a soviet designed ZU-23-2 know to be in Iranian inventories, US navy certainly doesnt use them
If your reply is with respect to the first sentence in the quote, if you look back to what I was responding to it was with respect to why the crew were carrying rifles.
 
Just a little aside about how cultural references and history can be important.

Why is Britain an 'old fox' in the Iranian media?



I do like that the British Embassy is on Ferdowsi Avenue.

The street named for effectively the national Poet of Persia.

Ferdowsi - Wikipedia

Also a derivative of the "ferdows", or highest garden in paradise.

Not lost on Iranians, I am sure. Bit of love/hate there I think.
Many an ancient house
Was razed after you crept in
You seized lands through your fox games
You have escaped hundred of traps, like an old fox.


Rather interestingly, they also claim that Britain was behind the protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad atter his election in 2009.
They also accuse Britain of helping mastermind and provoke the mass street protests against the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which followed the disputed presidential elections in 2009.
Some of the fixation on Britain may be that the British Empire was the big player in the region up until after WWII and Persia/Iran was one of the few major independent states in an area which was otherwise dominated by Britain. British imperial control was often maintained as much through diplomacy and bribery as it was through overt conquest.
 
If I thought we had a fraction of the influence, linguistic and cultural capability that our adversaries credit us with I would sleep much better at night.
 
A lot of people are willing to take this incident at face value here and I'm not sure it should be.

I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, but how about these alternatives to the accepted story?

1) - Saudi Arabia has for a long time desired more influence and power, particularly at the cost of Iran. Emboldened by what they see as a weak leader in Trump (as evidenced by the inactivity over the Khashoggi murder) decide to launch a black op. Using a stolen or mocked up Iranian boat, they plant Iranian-issued mines onto the tankers. This plays into the hands of Pompeo who's been agitating for a fight for some time.

US gives Iran a sledging, with help from Tel Aviv maybe and lays Iran low. Saudis hoover up what there is left with no risk to them whatsoever and in the finest tradition of Saudi, they keep their hands clean.

2) - The CIA or a PMC (ex-Blackwater personnel would be fine) launch a black op as above. This serves two purposes - a chance to take the heat off Trump in the light of ever increasing calls for impeachment and it also gives Pompeo an excuse to kick off at Iran (I think they may've ogled his wife or something). The things to look for would be a higher-than-market value compensation paid to the tanker crew and parent corporaton.

3) - Israel. Tired of waiting for the US to get off their behinds and mallet Iran, they decide to move things along. Using a subsidiary of a subsidiary of a subsidiary, Mossad organises a bunch of malcontents to mine international shipping to harden resolve against their old nuclear desiring buddies.

4) - The IRGC has indeed gone off reservation and for whatever reason have decided to embark on a low-level guerilla campaign against foreign shipping. It's possible, but I'm not seeing an endgame, unless they're radical Islamists who just want to damage the Great Satan at which point, it's pretty stupid.

Other things to consider -

We don't know for sure that the sailors were removing mines from the hull of the tanker. It might be something else completely, like a magnetic clamp or something. The video appears to be edited early on so it isn't exactly clear.

If you wanted to attack a ship, it's my understanding that frogmen would do this job, below the waterline. Unseen. You would want to sink the ship instead of merely holing it.

Why then, is there a very visible boat with a very visible crew attending the tanker? Unless, of course, you wanted them to be seen so that the represented country could be blamed.

Also, the placement of the mines would indicate that you want to damage the ship, but not sink it. My point 2 relates.

When I hear hooves, I don't hear zebras, I hear horses, but there's something fishy about this and I'm not talking about limpet mine removing sailors.

ETA: From the BBC, Saudi have stirred the pot: "Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih earlier called for a "swift and decisive" response to the attacks."

Of course they have.
Balance of probability, come on, IRGC or Saud's doing a black op? You did see their efforts in Turkey with Khashoggi?

Once again, the US isn't going to do anything. Iran would like them to do something, it would be very convenient to have low level war.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
Balance of probability, come on, IRGC or Saud's doing a black op? You did see their efforts in Turkey with Khashoggi?

Once again, the US isn't going to do anything. Iran would like them to do something, it would be very convenient to have low level war.
It could be the IRGC acting on its own autonomy, I just don't see their endgame. The US will batter them into submission in a no-holds barred war which Pompeo is desperate for. You also have Israel and Saudi as allies in any attack on Iran. Also, the US will have its fair share of defence contractors pushing for a war. It's massive money for PMCs and the like.

Point taken about Khashoggi's murder, but that was the Turks leaking it, if I recall correctly.
 
It could be the IRGC acting on its own autonomy, I just don't see their endgame. The US will batter them into submission in a no-holds barred war which Pompeo is desperate for. You also have Israel and Saudi as allies in any attack on Iran. Also, the US will have its fair share of defence contractors pushing for a war. It's massive money for PMCs and the like.

Point taken about Khashoggi's murder, but that was the Turks leaking it, if I recall correctly.
To rally the locals and take their minds off their imminent economic collapse.
 
Balance of probability, come on, IRGC or Saud's doing a black op? You did see their efforts in Turkey with Khashoggi?

Once again, the US isn't going to do anything. Iran would like them to do something, it would be very convenient to have low level war.
Ah yes, the Khashoggi affair. Taking the response to that as the standard to which we should aspire I guess that means we should say there's no proof and then sell Iran a bunch of arms and call them our best friends.
 
It could be the IRGC acting on its own autonomy, I just don't see their endgame. The US will batter them into submission in a no-holds barred war which Pompeo is desperate for. You also have Israel and Saudi as allies in any attack on Iran. Also, the US will have its fair share of defence contractors pushing for a war. It's massive money for PMCs and the like.

Point taken about Khashoggi's murder, but that was the Turks leaking it, if I recall correctly.
The US doesn't want war, they want to talk big and do not much.

IRGC could be acting autonomously, internal Iranian politics are always complex and they do go off on one when the moderates are looking good.

UAE would be more likely/competent but still doesn't add up. This walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

This is what it's all about IMO.

Iran to breach enriched uranium limit in 10 days
 
Ah yes, the Khashoggi affair. Taking the response to that as the standard to which we should aspire I guess that means we should say there's no proof and then sell Iran a bunch of arms and call them our best friends.
We should look at ME politics as it is, still bloody and not stable at all. With Iran being a marginally better player than the rest. Who still kill more of their own people than KSA, even with the current psycho in charge.
 
President Rouhani of Iran has announced on TV that Iran is not going to war with anyone.
www.cbc.ca/news/world/iran-wont-wage-war-rouhani-1.5179430?cmp=rss
"Iran will not wage war against any nation," Rouhani said. "Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience."

"Despite all of the Americans' efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful."
It's not really clear what this actually means however.

Meanwhile, in an announcement by their foreign minister, China is telling everyone to calm down and show some restraint.
"We call on all sides to remain rational and exercise restraint, and not take any escalatory actions that irritate regional tensions, and not open a Pandora's box," Wang said.

"In particular, the U.S. side should alter its extreme pressure methods."
Wang also said that the nuclear deal is still the way forward and that it should be properly implemented and adhered to by everyone. He particularly noted that Iran should not abandon the deal lightly, but appeared to indirectly refer to the US as well.
"We understand that relevant parties may have different concerns but first of all the comprehensive nuclear deal should be properly implemented," he added. "We hope that Iran is cautious with its decision-making and not lightly abandon this agreement."
It is conceivable that Rouhani's speech may have been prompted by Chinese pressure and may be an indication that they are going to turn the temperature back down off boil.
 
To rally the locals and take their minds off their imminent economic collapse.
They are very (very) resilient. They've had problems with internal disputes, water, their own (none funded by them) terrorism and of course some Iranians not seeing a benefit with their support for Assad's govt, for years. It'll take a lot more than the reimposition of sanctions and cutting their oil purchasers for the regime to collapse economically.

It's just what they see as 'payback'. Threatening the EU to support them financially, otherwise they enrich uranium more than the JCPOA allows. Reduce their oil exports? Okay we'll (based on the 'veiled threats' previously) shut down the Straits of Hormuz through which nearly 20% of the worlds oil supplies go through.

There's a lot more to play for yet and Rouhani doesn't control the IRGC. They report to Khamenei, the 'Supreme Leader'. He himself has been in power since '89: Khamenei Will Be Iran's Last Supreme Leader
 
We should look at ME politics as it is, still bloody and not stable at all. With Iran being a marginally better player than the rest. Who still kill more of their own people than KSA, even with the current psycho in charge.
I'm imagining my own country (Canada) getting its arm twisted by the US into going to war to support a country (Saudi Arabia) who have declared they are not fond of us, have broken off diplomatic relations, expelled our ambassador, and have instituted a trade embargo against us.

We pulled our embassy out of Iran in 2012, so there's no love lost on that side either.

I don't have any illusions about either side being innocent or blameless. I don't however want to see a war kick off in the Persian Gulf as that could potentially have untold consequences for the world economy at a time when things are looking very wobbly on the economic front. No doubt champagne corks would be popping in Calgary at the thought of such a war, but I'm looking at the bigger picture and it doesn't look pretty.

There are a few people who say that the Americans could just spend a few weeks dropping bombs on Iran and then declare victory and go home for tea and medals, but I have no confidence that the Iranians would be willing to leave it at that.

We don't have to humour these idiots forever, just keep the lid on for a few more decades until we don't need their oil any more. After that they're welcome to kill each other to their heart's content.
 
This picture looks like one of @SPROCKET321 's models for the upcoming Gulf War III build :)
1560860929289.png
 

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