Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 19, 2019

Britain Pirates Iranian Ship 'Grace 1' - Iran Responds - Takes British Tanker Hostage - (Updated 3x)

Updated 3 x  below

On July the Brits used their colonial outlet Gibraltar to steal the Iranian tanker 'Grace 1' and its load of 2 million barrel of oil. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps then threatened to take similar measures against British ships. Today Gibraltar announce that it will hold the 'Grace 1' for another month. We can guess that those plans will soon change.

It seems that today, at about 16:00 UTC, the IRGC got lucky.

via Marinetraffic - bigger

The British tanker 'Stena Impero' was on its way from Fujairah, UAE to Jubail in Saudi Arabia.

Reading the track below we can speculate what happened. Just when the ship had passed through the Straits of Hormuz from east to west it was approached by IRGC fast boots. The ship made a sharp turn south towards Oman but could not outrun the IRGC boots. It was boarded. It then slowed down, made a sharp 180 degree turn and sailed towards north. It is now in Iranian waters. The last Automatic Identification System (AIS) signal it emitted came in at about 17:30 UTC.

via Marinetraffic - bigger

The Stena Impero, IMO 9797400, is a British flagged oil products and chemical tanker. Build in 2018 it has a deadweight tonnage of 49,682 metric tons. The owner is Stena Bulk XIII Cyprus Limited, which is likely controlled by the Swedish company Stena Bulk AB in Goteborg, Sweden. The operator is Northern Marine Ltd in Glasgow, Scotland. The ship sails under the British flag.

The ships arrest today is another consequence of Trumps idiotic anti-Iran policies which the British minions seem to support. The U.S. tries to build some military escort service for ship in the Strait of Hormuz. But no other country wants to join:

The United States is struggling to win its allies’ support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran, six sources familiar with the matter said.
“The Americans want to create an ‘alliance of the willing’ who confront future attacks,” a Western diplomat said. “Nobody wants to be on that confrontational course and part of a U.S. push against Iran.
The British security source said it was not viable to escort every commercial vessel, a view shared by several other countries.
“It’s just impossible. The Strait is already too crowded,” an Asian official said of an escort system in the Strait of Hormuz which is 21 miles (33 km) wide at its narrowest point.

The dimwits in London who listened to John Bolton and ordered to pirate the Iranian ship are now in deep trouble. It was an utterly stupid move. There is little they can do now except to let the 'Grace 1' go. But who in Britain can now give the order? Theresa May is about gone and Boris Johnson is still busy collecting votes to become the next prime minister.

Added: The IRGC now confirmed that it took the ship:

The IRGC Navy announced in statement that British oil tanker “Stena Impero” has been captured on Friday evening because of violating the international maritime regulations when crossing the Strait of Hormuz.

The UK oil tanker has been seized by the IRGC Navy forces in the first naval zone at the request of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran at the province of Hormozgan, a statement said.

The British vessel has been taken to the port and delivered to the Ports and Maritime Organization for the legal and judicial processes, it added.

Update 19:00 UTC

Another ship seems to have "violated international maritime regulations". The 'Mesdar', IMO 9452672, passed east to west through Iran's territorial waters north of Abu Musa island when it suddenly made a 90 degree turn and sailed north towards the Iranian coast.

via Marinetraffic - bigger

With 333 meter length and 60 meter breadth the Liberian flagged ship is a very large crude oil carrier. It has a deadweight tonnage of 315,802 tons. The ship came from Lanshan, China and was supposed to go to Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia. The last AIS signal from the ship was received at 17:30 UTC. The manager/operator and owner(?) of the Mesdar is Norbulk Shipping Ltd in Glasgow, Scotland.

Update 20:15 UTC

The IRGC let the 'Mesdar' go after reminding her of the relevant rules. The ship has turned southwest to continue its planned voyage.

Update July 20 - 15:30 UTC

Iran now says that 'Stena Impero' was accompanied by a British military ship. The IRGC forces boarded the tanker by roping from a helicopter. There is video from inside the helicopter and of the boarding scene as observed from other boats. The capture was too fast for the British military ship to react.

When the British military pirated the 'Grace 1' it also used a helicopter to bring its Marine commandos on board. Iran now demonstrated that it can act on the same operational level.

Posted by b on July 19, 2019 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thank You.

Posted by: so | Jul 19 2019 18:16 utc | 1

this is sure to stir the pot...

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 19 2019 18:31 utc | 2

What comes around goes around.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Jul 19 2019 18:34 utc | 3

Impero = "I rule".

Not any longer. ;-)

Posted by: bjd | Jul 19 2019 18:37 utc | 4

Wow! The Brits never expected their victims to fight back.
Go Iran go!
Please dear God,I know the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow but can You get Your finger out and deliver Your Judgment on these Satanists.
Pretty please with knobs on.

Posted by: anon | Jul 19 2019 18:37 utc | 5

I can’t wait to hear the spluttering outrage from the U.K.’s pathetic politicians and media. How does it go?

Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves.
Rule Britannia, Britannia waived the rules,
Lose Britannia, Britannia loses the waves...

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jul 19 2019 18:37 utc | 6

This is how empires die.

Zerohedge US may had downed its own drone:

Now the British loose a ship after they play pirate against Iran.

This is not the way empires work. Empire rule by force and by respect. How is any country going to respect the empire when they can not overthrow Venezuela, can not push North Korea, can not dominate Iran. The USD is going to be replaced by gold and other assets and the party is going to be over.

Either that or welcome to WWIII.

Posted by: Meshpal | Jul 19 2019 18:38 utc | 7

John Bolton must be deliriously happy now he has his casus belli for war with Iran and Englands government will now be totally helpless to resist joining the US in their doomed crusade as no one campaigning for the prime minister post will want to look weak in Iran

Posted by: Kadath | Jul 19 2019 18:39 utc | 8

This is one case of shadenfreude I will savour!
The Brits have turned into such wankers...

Posted by: xLemming | Jul 19 2019 18:43 utc | 9

Wonder if this will have any impact on Zarif's offer? This has a tiny blub ascribed to Pompeo:

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while speaking at a summit in Buenos Aires on19 July, called on Iran to "come to the table" for negotiations to resolve the ongoing tensions in relations between the two countries. He went on to say that President Trump is ready for a meeting with Iranian authorities without preconditions. [My Emphasis]

Meanwhile, Zarif provides a link to his full BloombergTV interview.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 18:44 utc | 10

Iran spreads images that deny demolition of its drone by the USA.

Iran has broadcast the first images captured by an Iranian drone the US says he shot down in the Strait of Hormuz.

The photographs, obtained by the Iranian unmanned aircraft and released this Friday, expose the unfounded fallacies of Washington about the despondency on Thursday of the Iranian drone in the waters of southern Iran, reports the Sepah News portal.

The remote-controlled apparatus, belonging to the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guardian Corps (IRGC), monitored the movements of the USS Boxer assault ship, along with five other vessels, thoroughly and for three hours, since they entered the Strait of Hormuz, the report reads.

The report assures that, "during that time, the aerodromes that collect data transmitted by the Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles did not observe any suspicious or threatening movement by the US terrorist forces from the aforementioned warship".

The IRGC had assured hours earlier that "the drone aircraft successfully transmitted images of the US warship before and after the time when the US says he knocked down the drone, and then it returned to its base safe and sound. "

The note says that the IRGC constantly and thoroughly monitors the movements of foreigners in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, and that their forces "are fully prepared to give an adequate response to any act of aggression and contrary to the inyernational laws committed by foreign forces" in this strategic area.(...)

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 18:49 utc | 11

Gonna watch me some BBC News right now! Curious to see their faces...

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jul 19 2019 18:51 utc | 12

Trump: "Theresa, grab that stick and poke that lion"
Theresa: "mmmkay"

The stupidity of the british clowns is being exposed to the world

Posted by: Comandante | Jul 19 2019 18:56 utc | 13

Perhaps Iran should put the crew on an airliner and send them home, no? Don't need another "hostage crisis".

Perhaps allow a British Civilian Airliner to land in Iran and retrieve them.

Negotiations are forthcoming rapidly, I suppose.

Let's just trade boats and crew, now, eh?

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 19 2019 18:57 utc | 14

I suspect if shipping channels were geographically overlain the ship's track, they would show the tanker veered into and then across the channel of oncoming traffic, likely causing avoidance manoeuvres in that traffic's tightly constrained pattern. A no-no.

Posted by: Formerly T.Bear | Jul 19 2019 18:58 utc | 15

It is Swedish ship, Stena Bulk is a subsidiary of Stena AB, which is owned by the Olsson family, CEO Dan Olsson. Look up "Stena Bulk" which is in Swedish on Wikipedia, and "Stena Sphere" which is a list of all the companies in the conglomerate owned by the Olsson family, it is in English on wikipedia.

It is a Swedish ship but flying a British flag, lots of ships are registered under countries which they do business with, it's a common business practice known as "Flag of Convenience."

The Olsson family is one of Sweden's wealthiest and most powerful families. Dan Olsson owns 51% of the Stena Sphere businesses, he is worth $3.9 billion according to Forbes. #504 on the list of Billionaires 2019. His brother and sister Stefan Sten Olsson and Madeleine Olsson Eriksson are also Billionaires and part owners of the Stena Sphere conglomerate.

Posted by: Pam Ho | Jul 19 2019 19:04 utc | 16

Did any Brits here see Trita Parsi on C4 News today, I swear the presenters looked stunned at the stuff he said. "Who let this guy in?"

Posted by: Lonkal | Jul 19 2019 19:13 utc | 17

Thank You b for the WWIII update

As was noted by Perimetr with the chilling science about HEMP on another thread we are at that MAD moment and the cult of private finance needs to decide if they are going to blows us all up or learn to play nicely with others.

It is way past time for this existential situation to occur and THANKS to Iran for their part in bringing this geo-political conundrum to a head.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 19 2019 19:16 utc | 18

It is still totally unclear to me how the Grace 1 ended up in Gibraltarian jurisdiction. Did it voluntarily make some stopover in Gibraltar or was it intercepted on the 'high seas'?

The United Kingdom only claims 3.0 nautical miles of territorial waters around Gibraltar. The rest of the strait lies within the territorial waters of Spain and Morocco, but passage through the straight is governed by the rules of transit passage

The ships and aircraft of all nations, including warships, auxiliaries, and military aircraft, enjoy the right of unimpeded transit passage in such straits and their approaches. Submarines are free to transit international straits submerged since that is their normal mode of operation.

I tried to check for sources and a timeline on Wikipedia, but Grace 1 or the incident did not even have an article! Western sources are vague on the details apart from stating that British commandos boarded the ship from helicopters.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jul 19 2019 19:18 utc | 19

@ xlemming 9

"The Brits have turned into such wankers..."

Well as a Brit, I can only add that it does seem to be the case. We are under some very strange influence and have been for quite a while.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 19:21 utc | 20

Let's see if the UK public has a stomach for war.

Posted by: Erelis | Jul 19 2019 19:21 utc | 21

The government of Sweden, aka Sweden the country, joined itself at the hip with the belligerent USA and "the five eyes", NATO and all the worst shite headed up by the USA.

Recall the phony rape charges and Assange.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 19 2019 19:23 utc | 22

And here we go.. Pretty embarrasing for the Donald. Iran & The strait is likely as much a target of high tech spy sattelites as there can be. And he even can not protect the largest ships of his biggest vassal country UK, even with prior warning.
Cant help to have a big smile on my face, even though i know this will push the escelation to a new level, and that Bolton & Co only waited for any indcident.
But sadly Iran has no choice anyway, and needs to show them that they DO act, not only talk like the neocons expected.
Anyway, even more drama and carnage ahead.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jul 19 2019 19:33 utc | 23

@ Petri Krohn | Jul 19 2019 19:18 utc | 19

From memory, contemporary reporting from either RT, RT News or Sputnik, the Grace 1 came from Moroccan waters and was awaiting resupply in the area when British marines landed by helicopter, took control of the ship and took it to Gibraltar waters, arresting Captain and First Officer after 'impounding' the ship. The crew was later released on bail. It seems questionable that the ship was any where near Gibraltar's domain as the report stated the ship had remained in a traditional area of transiting ships taking on supplies which sounds suspiciously like Spanish waters.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 19:36 utc | 24

@19 T-bear

By tracking, it was sailing through the middle of the straight, exited into unclaimed UK waters/Spanish waters, then turned NE into British territorial waters. The UK says it was boarded once in UK waters, though there has been no crew version given. I think it was boarded in UK/Gib waters, it had those visibly set as destination, it was not expecting to be detained there though. Until crew version is released it can remain argued over position of boarding though.

They should have transferred it to EU courts :( .

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 19:49 utc | 25

.....but flying a British flag, lots of ships are registered under countries which they do business with, it's a common business practice known as "Flag of Convenience."

Posted by: Pam Ho | Jul 19 2019 19:04 utc | 16

Agree. It would be very convenient for Iran to suggest maritime merchants think again if they want a "common business practice" with Her Majesty Pirate Queen.

Note also that UK is not the only nation belonging to Her Pirate Majesty. Canada too, Australia i think. Just look who headed "international" WADA securing olympic gold for UK athletes, there is half dozen nations whose flag today is worth being same toxic as Jack Union

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 19 2019 20:02 utc | 26

Mesdar is owned by


(From webcache registered site q88)

Parent company of manager.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 20:04 utc | 27

@ gzon | Jul 19 2019 19:49 utc | 25

The middle of the strait made by Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Spanish headland would most likely be in Moroccan waters. I have no knowledge where ships taking on supplies from the Gibraltar area might dwell while still being in international transit but the Spanish Government is quite unhappy about what Gibraltar has done. There exist serious differences about interpreting the treaty establishing British Gibraltar and the encompassing domains. That is why I said there were questionable boarding procedures taking place. Since Britain and its Crown colonies are well noted for lying perfidy, their story is the one to be questioned

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 20:05 utc | 28

Statement by the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Hunt, on the capture of two British oil tankers after the two meetings of the COBR emergency cabinet.

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 20:09 utc | 29


Somewhere I read that the Grace I requested permission to take on supplies from Gibraltar and received permission, which did 2 things: it put them in UK territorial waters, and it told the wankers exactly where they would be.

Of course this could all be disinformation like the rest of the story ..

Posted by: delta | Jul 19 2019 20:10 utc | 30

As b reports in the last quote before his update, the vessel infringed maritime law, and has been taken to port under the jurisdiction of Iranian authorities for legal action.

It seems clear that Iran intends purely to follow the strict letter of the law in its fight against the US. In this, it mirrors the actions of both Russia and China. There is a common strategy at stake here, which understands that the only way to have a rule of law is to observe the law.

Although Russia has taken a lot of commenter heat over the years for not reacting in a more muscular way to the many provocations, in fact every action it has taken that strictly adhered to international law has reinforced that law. The Russians weren't just following the law, they were adding strength to it. China is doing the same, as is Iran.

It takes more subtlety of thought than Hollywood or Tel Aviv are capable of to see the strength in this, but these 3 nations clearly see the synergistic benefits of supporting the law. "The only way to have a thing," I was once told, and believe, "is to be that thing, and to give it away."

We are watching the daily strengthening of maritime and other international law by the actions of Iran.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 19 2019 20:11 utc | 31

#25 Sasha

Agree with

it needs to be undone

but not with

to then be rebuilt as a bearable home

Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 19 2019 20:13 utc | 32

Jeremy Hunt says in his communiquee...

"These seizures are unacceptable. It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region".

The same phrase could be stated by the Iranian representatives with respect to the region where Strait of Gibraltar is located...
It was not Iran who startes this....

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 20:14 utc | 33

The owners of Stena Impero have posted a statement. It is on a temporary location so I am copying it here. (I also made a copy on


2019-07-19 - 19.55

Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management can confirm that at approximately 1600 BST on 19th July UK registered vessel Stena Impero (built 2018, 49,683 DWT) was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.

There are 23 seafarers aboard. There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers. The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew.

Northern Marine Management has not been able to establish contact directly with the vessel since it was notified of the incident at approximately 1600 Today, 19th July 2019.
We are in close contact with UK government authorities.

There is more information on the tanker class in this PDF. Stena Bulk has thirteen similar 50,000 DWT IMOIIMAX tankers.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jul 19 2019 20:14 utc | 34

@30 re @19

That's a version I also read, delta.

Posted by: spudski | Jul 19 2019 20:15 utc | 35

@Lonkal 17

Watched the video interview. You are being dramatic. It was a civil conversation with no reaction from the host or the guest.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 19 2019 20:16 utc | 36

According to Jeremy Hunt statement, the two vessels were sailing under UK and Liberian flags respectively, and amongst their international crew there are no Britons.

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 20:19 utc | 37

Grieved @ 31

What you wrote is very important. There has to be something positive to move toward and as you mentioned, Russia, Iran and China are showing the way. Been listening to Zarif in many interviews with the West and he is just so impressive. Much like Lavrov. Just logical and diplomatic.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jul 19 2019 20:21 utc | 38

@Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 19 2019 20:13 utc | 32

That post of mine you are replying is not there anymore, it seems b found it somehow off-topic as I was fearing...

Anyway, why do not you think the world should be rebuilt as a bearable home?

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 20:21 utc | 39

Magnier just tweeted that the second ship has been released.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jul 19 2019 20:22 utc | 40

Brent has already rised 1% its price after the event.... and more details on the causes the tanker was detained....

The price of Brent oil has risen more than 1% following the retention of a British oil tanker by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Naval Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) confirmed on Friday that the British tanker Stena Impero was detained "for not having respected the international maritime code" while crossing the Strait of Hormuz.

The facts have caused the price of Brent North Sea oil to rise more than 1% per barrel.

An Iranian military source has indicated to the local IRNA news agency that the oil tanker in question had turned off its global positioning system (GPS) and was following the navigation without paying attention to the warnings issued from Iran, for which it was retained "according to the international navigation standards", he stressed.

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 20:28 utc | 41

When they seized the enemy’s tanker, I assume the Iranian commandos enjoyed a sudden burst of happiness. It is good to be happy, and good for them.

I don’t know exactly how happy they were. I guess they were as happy as victorious warriors, all flashing their deadly commando kit, all taking some personal credit for the triumph, and all avowing, sooner or later, god is great.

They should all go to an Iranian speakeasy, play loud the jukebox, and have a cold one. Enjoy some bubble-ass models twerking on stage. Have a few.

Posted by: A. Person | Jul 19 2019 20:30 utc | 42

@Posted by: lgfocus | Jul 19 2019 20:21 utc | 38

Been listening to Zarif in many interviews with the West and he is just so impressive. Much like Lavrov. Just logical and diplomatic.

While at the same time lacking any the bad manners, bad temper and that absolute bitternes so common in US and UK stablishments...

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 20:31 utc | 43

Jeremy Hunt and the EU should be reminded of their obligations under the JCPOA, and of their recent (in)actions, instead of foaming at the mouth.

Posted by: bjd | Jul 19 2019 20:31 utc | 44

@28 T-Bear

It was in international transit but then turned into the 3 mile territorial waters Gibraltar claims but Spain questions. Whether it turned into the Gibraltar territorial waters after being boarded, or was boarded as stated by Uk after entering them, is the only real point in question I think. After that there is a big question of if UK had the right to detain in UK waters (innocent passage UNCLOS).

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 20:35 utc | 45

Hard to believe the two ships suddenly changed course at 180 and 90 degrees, respectively, and headed for Iranian waters where they were nabbed.

They changed to that sudden trajectory more likely by IRGC tug boats and swift boats, and ordered into Iranian waters.

Either way, a strong response by the Iranians. Remains to be seen if this pays off.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 19 2019 20:46 utc | 46

@17 and @36

Let people decide for themselves.

It was civil, but the ending made it abundantly clear that somebody didn't want to hear what he had to say at the end, either as a result of time or content.

Posted by: wakada | Jul 19 2019 20:52 utc | 47

@ gzon | Jul 19 2019 20:35 utc | 45

Above is report Grace 1 received permission to take on supplies and was given permission. That informs that innocent passage still applied as it would be normal procedure to take on supplies after a significant passage. Sea law applies and Gibraltar's violation would not stand after giving such permission. So much information has been issued over the Gibraltar hijack that most official opinions have become detached from fact and highly untrustworthy, fit only for judgment in appropriate judicial jurisdiction, not in Gibraltar's colonial courts.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 20:53 utc | 48

There is little they can do now except to let the 'Grace 1' go. But who in Britain can now give the order? Theresa May is about gone and Boris Johnson is still busy collecting votes to become the next prime minister.

Theresa May’s current status would actually seem to present a way out, if she wants to take it. She can order the release of the Grace 1 (sorry, I mean request the Gibraltarian authorities release it) to get out of the current standoff, and as a soon-to-be ex-politician she can absorb all the abuse such a lawful and reasonable course of action is sure to draw from the U.S./U.K. establishments – including her successor – in a way someone with political ambitions couldn’t. The U.K. can then take one more look at whether they want to continue doing the U.S.’s dirty work against Iran.

Posted by: David G | Jul 19 2019 20:53 utc | 49

Stuff the oil in a container, seal it with Iranian testosterone, and mail it air freight..
what a situation..

Posted by: snake | Jul 19 2019 20:57 utc | 50

The shrieking hypocrisy of the UK and the US is totally expected - how dare you seize our vessels after we seize yours! - but no less nauseating for that. The crescendo of lies we see developing as the lead-up to war, as it would seem, probably says a lot about history itself. What part of the narratives we have swallowed from media, books and schools, over the course of our lives, isn't lies?

Posted by: paul | Jul 19 2019 21:00 utc | 51

Apparently the Stena Impero was seized because of three violations:

Further reports said that the vessel had done three violations. Firstly, it was moving in wrong direction of the shipping route in the Strait of Hormuz. Secondly, it had turned off its positing device and, thirdly, it had ignored the warnings issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

There is now corroborating reports the the second 'seized' vessel, the Mesdar, was released and was simply detained:

Despite reports and remarks from UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt that Mesdar had been detained by Iran, regional military officials have indicated that the vessel was never seized by Iran, rather it was left off with a warning after reportedly disobeying regulations.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have not captured the British-operated, Liberian-flagged ship Mesdar in the Gulf, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, quoting regional military sources.

“Despite reports, the ship has not been seized ... and was allowed to continue its course after being warned about safety issues by Iranian forces,” the report said.

Posted by: jsb | Jul 19 2019 21:13 utc | 52

@ 48 Addendum

I cannot see any Crown Colony Court would have sufficient competency to rule on international maritime law. Crown Courts in Colonies are normally petty courts in petty jurisdictions. The metropolitan courts are the ones which do have the competency to find on issues of international law (which seems to have gone seriously missing in Britain - doubtlessly some Wiggery clone will preside).

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 21:20 utc | 53

@39 Sasha

Too much misery and not much hope for a better home even after rebuilding –even without humans either.

I haven't looked at your links; presuming they show suffering I've just wanted to make sure that you've been heard.

Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 19 2019 21:26 utc | 54

@wakada 47

Agree. But it strikes me of rather stupid and waste of time in bringing in a guest that you fully know their point of view, based on their past interviews, just to cut them off because you don't agree with his opinion.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 19 2019 21:27 utc | 55

thanks b and thank @16 pam ho for the info...

here is bbcs report on it, prior to the 2nd ship being released..

what did the usa-us-israel-ksa gang of thugs expect?? everyone knows this is leading to ww3 without some sanity on the part of the group of bullies.. the drone taken down was very likely a false flag brought by one of these same countries... they continue to gun for war and they are all a bunch of cowards and impotent leaders in the west at this point... you can't keep rattling the drums of war and expect anything else from this cluster of war mongers... it is not 1953 anymore... iran and the world has moved on, in spite of the usa-uk wanting to control the middle east oil and look after it's foothold in the region - israel...

i can't see this ending well... more innocent people will be murdered due the foreign policy agenda led by usa-uk... they have a history of it.. i can't see it changing...

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2019 21:34 utc | 56

@Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 19 2019 21:26 utc | 54

The links were showing the many very significant ( to my view ) signs of degeneracy, especially galopant in the US, like a rich dressed man being carried on one young woman´s back to not get wet in Short Hills underground after a rain flood, some elder fake blonde apparently rich women with crazy expressions in the last meeting of The Donald where he sent the "Congress Democrat Squad" back to their countries´shitholes ( eventhough three of them are US born citizens..), a shopkeeper at a gas station offering some latin women to go back to their countries eventhough they were assuring they were US citizens and the shopkeeper then menacing them with calling the immigration police.

Finally, another ponting out that amongst the prediction of the hottest July in history, temperatures were reaching 50ºC in Sodom past day...I was wondering where the heat will lead us...

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 21:42 utc | 57

@ bjd | Jul 19 2019 20:31 utc | 44

Jeremy Hunt and the EU should be reminded of their obligations under the JCPOA, and of their recent (in)actions, instead of foaming at the mouth.

Alas! Despite their claims to represent a long tradition of civilization, and presenting themselves as paragons of enlightened, ethical rationality, in their official capacities Hunt and the EU rely exclusively on their archaeo-cortexes. Thus, they are incapable of being "reminded" of anything that doesn't jibe with their compulsive aggressive-primate posture.

So all they can and will do is foam at the mouth, grimace, ululate, pound their chests, flap their arms, shake their fists, and fling feces as fast as they can excrete them.

Just compare non-Western statesmen and ministers like Rouhani, Zarif, Putin, and Lavrov with their Western counterparts; it's like comparing heroes from Shakespeare's works with "The Three Stooges".

Posted by: Ort | Jul 19 2019 21:44 utc | 58

Then… I've made a stupid mistake! Sorry for the noise.

Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 19 2019 21:45 utc | 59

Ort @ 58

Posted by: lgfocus | Jul 19 2019 21:50 utc | 60

So if I'm understanding correctly, British vessels are turning off their GPS beacons in hopes of "slipping through" the strait, but this very act in the crowded strait is against regulations and gives Iran grounds to stop and, if they decide to, seize the vessels. I like the symmetry.

One has to wonder if the second tanker was given a pass because it is or will be hauling cargo for China. Iran certainly doesn't want to bite that hand.

I'd say the mere acts of stopping these vessels will send the desired message, and will have a significant impact on the costs of shipping.

Posted by: J Swift | Jul 19 2019 22:22 utc | 61

If the IRGC liberated Grace 1,
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?
Or would it merely rock the boat?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 19 2019 22:24 utc | 62

@ Formerly T-Bear | 48

"Grace 1 received permission to take on supplies and was given permission. That informs that innocent passage still applied as it would be normal procedure to take on supplies after a significant passage. Sea law applies and Gibraltar's violation would not stand after giving such permission. So much information has been issued over the Gibraltar hijack that most official opinions have become detached from fact and highly untrustworthy, fit only for judgment in appropriate judicial jurisdiction, not in Gibraltar's colonial courts."

If that had indeed been the situation, yes, I guess you'd be right to say so.
But there is a big problem. As of May 29, the Grace 1 was no longer on an innocent passage. The ship was registered in Panama like so many others around the world. But on that day, it was struck from the ship register of Panama. It did no longer have the permission to sail under any country's flag because it was no longer registered anywhere. A ship not in any register and not allowed to fly a flag cannot have the right to innocent passage. I'm pretty sure the authorities in Gibraltar knew about this. With the act of de-registering Panama gave Gibraltar (or any other country that the Grace 1 would go near to) the legal grounds to stop the ship and do an investigation. And Gibraltar and the UK did just that, did what they were supposed to do. Of course, the whole thing won't have been the brainchild of the government of Panama!

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jul 19 2019 22:31 utc | 63

b. I read this after a two day absence. Here I am presented with absolutely top class analysis in an instant that is laid out in less than a page. I dunno, I just think we are so lucky to have you. What more can I say?

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 19 2019 22:56 utc | 64

"The flag state of a merchant vessel is the jurisdiction under whose laws the vessel is registered or licensed, and is deemed the nationality of the vessel. A merchant vessel must be registered and can only be registered in one jurisdiction, but may change the register in which it is registered. The flag state has the authority and responsibility to enforce regulations over vessels registered under its flag, including those relating to inspection, certification, and issuance of safety and pollution prevention documents. As a ship operates under the laws of its flag state, these laws are applicable if the ship is involved in an admiralty case." Wiki

It is very very complex once you take into account the not tested and partly signed maritime laws, sanctions, historic disputes, etc. etc. etc.

What is also interesting about the above passage is how flag might be more important than ownership as far as Iran is concerned...maybe.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 23:02 utc | 65

Neoliberalism has made everything cheap except what they do, which is expensive. So great artists are on you tube for free but hell are you paying your broadband provider.

So when we get an incredible talent like b. it is our responsibility to see he is okay. That means just a bit of cash, not really much at all. You see, other outlets can quote b. and print his articles but he has to survive. He might be a substantial figure in alternative media but that does not bring in a dime. Remember that it costs to produce stuff such as b. produces so please donate, when and if you can.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 19 2019 23:10 utc | 66

Scotch Bingeington @63:


The Panamianan SR is open for business always, so prime for tricks such as this one.

Therein lies a problem if countries decide flags of convenience are actually inconvenient...

Posted by: Cortes | Jul 19 2019 23:51 utc | 67

So many philosophers here, a parade of smart a-holes, some quasi legal jousting etc.

No-one has given a thought to a Syrian who needs the Grace 1 oil cargo to maybe take his sick child to hospital, after a devastating war that these murderous Western shitbags conducted on behalf of Israel in his country.

This is how moral relativity works: the severity of aggressor’s actions shifts the reality to his side. No matter what “response” the Iranians have done, it is not going to solve the problem of a sick and dying child in Syria, just as was the case of 500,000 Iraqi children before. There is no tit-for-tat here, there is no equivalence of action even remotely.

Within a week I would deliver the British flagged tanker with its oil cargo to Syria for oil processing. Let the British & US morons with nuclear weapons huff & puff, the stinking hot air has to be exhausted somehow. Also, I do not want to be depressed by this warped reality, thus I am staying away from the Main Sewerage Media of the aggressors.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 19 2019 23:54 utc | 68

What the hell was the vassal even thinking hijacking an Iranian oil tanker. Do they not realize their own oil tankers have to travel through a tiny stretch of water owned by Iran?

Some countries are so slavish they need to be saved from hurting their own interests.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jul 20 2019 0:02 utc | 69


Exactly. Stupid is as stupid does. How did the Brits think Iran would react to their blatant highway robbery? Now they are doing everything they can, including illegal means, to not get taken themselves. Now nobody wants to transport British oil.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jul 20 2019 0:06 utc | 70

@68 "Within a week I would deliver the British flagged tanker with its oil cargo to Syria for oil processing."

Hmmm. Through the Suez Canal or do you propose dragging it overland? The US navy will be all over it as soon as it leaves the Gulf.

Posted by: dh | Jul 20 2019 0:19 utc | 71


Looks like the gang of thugs is just giving Iran excuses to drive up the oil price. If their goal is to get drumpf unelected, they are doing a bang-up job.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jul 20 2019 0:19 utc | 72


Seriously, what the hell did he expect Iran to do? I like how these vassals always do the empire's dirty work, and then get surprised by the blowback.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jul 20 2019 0:24 utc | 73

i actually checked this site because i had a feeling there would be analysis; i first heard of the incident from the BBC's sad little nightly news in the states. they had some brain donor from the UN on to spew the dumbest bullshit i've heard in weeks (unchallenged of course) so i hit "mute" and came here. her "argument" and what i'm sure will be the standard talking point) is that the british hijacking of the iranian ship was "enforcing the law" (what actual law was of course unmentioned) but that iran's actions in this case is "totes apples and oranges and they have no right and blah goddamn blah". the atlanticist/ziotard/whatever types aren't even trying to come up with decent excuses for their prick behavior anymore.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 20 2019 0:25 utc | 74

Globalists are slow cooking an upside down cake for September.

Trump: Sen. Rand Paul to help with Iran negotiations

I suppose it's helpful to have Rand Paul sitting beside Javad Zarif as with Killary beside Obummer during the glorious take down of N'Osama bin Baden.

I'm willing concede the slight possibility Trump is worried he might be left out of the perfidious loop, though he'll surely be eating chocolate cake when the curtain goes up.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jul 20 2019 0:37 utc | 75

Spoiler Alert:

The show ends with the introduction of a Digital/Interweb Patriot Act

Posted by: C I eh? | Jul 20 2019 0:40 utc | 76

@63 Scotch Bingeington.. after bush got rid of noriega - an ex cia dude installed as puppet for panama gone rogue - panama became another little colony of the usa's...

@ 75 C 1 eh? mental midgets running usa-uk foreign policy at this point.. no offense meant on midgets..

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2019 0:43 utc | 77

@68 kiza.. thanks. i agree with you and appreciate you highlighting what is going on here in a literal manner..

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2019 0:45 utc | 78

Take the British tanker, accompanied by Chinese warships, to China. After the necessary transactions, Russia can then ship oil through the Bosporus to Syria.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 20 2019 0:46 utc | 79

Re: the apparently unilateral de-registering of the Grace I from Panama's flag (ship register) without warning or notice described by Scotch Bingeington [Jul 19 2019 22:31 utc | 63] et al.

How very Ecuadorian of Panama, no? This sleight-of-hand reminds me of Lenin "The Jailor of Mordor" Moreno's reprehensibly illicit act of unilaterally terminating Julian Assange's political asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship.

It's the same foul dynamic: apply extra-legal force to a foundational process which puts the the target/victim at an acute disadvantage, and subjects it/him to a deterministic sequence of forcible detention and due process. If one winks at the original skulduggery, the rest all looks like states and actors righteously and dispassionately administering the rule of law.

There are always wheels within wheels, of course, so the (ir)responsible parties may have some pretextual rationale for why the de-registering that created subsequent responses was perfectly legitimate in the first place.

But it obviously stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: Ort | Jul 20 2019 0:52 utc | 80

Carefully note the posters crowing about Panama de-registering the Grace 1 and pretending that this act is somehow legitimate.

These are US State Department or Atlantic Council trolls.

100% guaranteed.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 20 2019 0:57 utc | 81


Not as stupid as Canada poking the dragon.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jul 20 2019 1:00 utc | 82

If this shows up Jeremy Hunt for how impractical and out of touch he is it could be hilarious, but it could be tragic on the other hand. Hunt is quite grandiose enough to do something dangerous.

Posted by: Ben | Jul 20 2019 1:05 utc | 83

...Israel is overdue for poking its nose in there and shit-disturbing. I wonder when they’ll be popping in for a (false flag) appearance.

Posted by: Featherless | Jul 20 2019 1:14 utc | 84


Why were you watching fake news?

Posted by: Cycloben | Jul 20 2019 1:15 utc | 85

@ kiza 68

I will think for the Syrian who needs oil for you... ho hum ho hum. Did that work ?

In the meantime we will be looking at how law is arranged, we will be watching how our governments play their hands, and try to figure out why they act as they do. We don't have to, we can simply join the other nine out of ten who ignore this all completely, and spare ourselves the hassle of being the only people around that are open enough to feel dumped on by someone like you.

If you studied anything that has gone on, you would realise you cannot get the UK tanker to Syria.

If you studied anything you would realise that our governments are stopping the oil flow to Syria "because of poor people who are hurt by the people who sell it" - they made a choice of side and your argument is already "taken" by their own. Whether we prefer "supply oil" or not, as outsiders we are going to be on the wrong side of someone. People just turn away, at best, when that is what they are offered. You would also have preferred our governments do the same, turn away and not meddle.

@ 81 wg You aren't saying me no ? I didn't notice anyone legitimise the act of deregistry - we were pointing out this is how the law is written, and that that is the position government will use if it wants to.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 20 2019 1:24 utc | 86

Gibraltar: Although a map is not the territory, visualization sometimes helps.

The legal Basis Regarding Gibraltar Territorial Waters

Posted by: bent_snath | Jul 20 2019 1:38 utc | 87

@14 "Perhaps Iran should put the crew on an airliner and send them home, no?"

If they did that then they would be well advised to adopt a flight-path that avoids any Ticonderoga-class cruisers.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 20 2019 1:50 utc | 88

Here is the Grace 1 track for those asking .

Posted by: gzon | Jul 20 2019 2:02 utc | 89

Jeremy Hunt: "These seizures are unacceptable. It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region."

Oh, the irony...

I wonder what it would take to make a British politician blush?
Blatant hypocrisy won't evoke it, that much is certain.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 20 2019 2:05 utc | 90

Regardless of ramifications, it's pleasing to see someone standing up to the empire's bullying. For the world to right itself, it has to happen.

Posted by: ben | Jul 20 2019 2:21 utc | 91

Posted by: Meshpal | Jul 19 2019 18:38 utc | 7
Posted by: Sasha | Jul 19 2019 18:49 utc | 11

Southfront: "The Pentagon said earlier that it has a video showing the downing of the Iranian UAV near the USS Boxer. However, the alleged video has not been released, so far."

Posted by: curious man | Jul 20 2019 2:33 utc | 92

To work around Typepad's unfriendly parser and successfully post links, replace the second :// with :// when placing a plain URL in text, %3a%2f%2f inside an HREF=""

xLemming @9,

Only just now?

Yeah, Right @90,

Paraphrasing Illich, politicians are advertising agents that exist to make us think we need a ruling class.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jul 20 2019 2:35 utc | 93

Posted by: David G | Jul 19 2019 20:53 utc | 49

There is little they can do now except to let the 'Grace 1' go. But who in Britain can now give the order? Theresa May is about gone and Boris Johnson is still busy collecting votes to become the next prime minister.

Newest edition of Der Spiegel on Boris Johnson:

Posted by: curious man | Jul 20 2019 2:42 utc | 94

Babak Taghvaee:

#BREAKING: After almost 38 years, #Israel Air Force carried-out an airstrike in #Iraq. #Israeli F-35I jets carried-out an airstrike against a Popular Mobilization Forces camp in E. Saladin. They killed 6 #IRGC & #Hezbollah members & destroyed their Fateh-110 ballistic missiles.
Babak Taghvaee:
My source for above tweet is not #IDF or #IsraelAirForce. In fact they do not want to speak about this. #CENTCOM, & CJTF-OIR told me that, none of the air forces involved in Op. #InherentResolve carried-out the airstrike in #Iraq. Therefore for sure it was carried-out by the #IAF
U.S. Central Command:
We are aware of the reports of an attack against the Iranians and a Popular Mobilization Force unit in Salah ad Din. US Forces were not involved, and we have no further information at this time.

Posted by: curious man | Jul 20 2019 2:58 utc | 95

Babak Taghvaee:

#BREAKING: #IRGC Navy Special Forces have stopped a 3rd Oiler named LR2 Poseidon which is Panama-flagged. The Oil tanker was stopped by #IRGC in the #Oman Sea. It is highly possible that IRGC releases this tanker. But the Stena Impero which is operated by #UK will remain seized.

Posted by: curious man | Jul 20 2019 3:07 utc | 96

pat lang vantage point on this topic here....

me makes no mention of the weasels that run usa foreign policy, which is no surprise as an insider himself... at any rate, he offers a fair analogy, the only thing missing is a footnote on the fact the usa used nukes on japan - again an omission that might help an american feel okay about how fucked up their foreign policy is at present, so long as they omit the ton of shit they have done since..

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2019 3:17 utc | 97

me - he...

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2019 3:18 utc | 98

U.S. Central Command Statement on Operation Sentinel

TAMPA, Fla., July 19, 2019 — U.S. Central Command is developing a multinational maritime effort, Operation Sentinel, to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation in light of recent events in the Arabian Gulf region.

The goal of Operation Sentinel is to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage, and de-escalate tensions in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait (BAM) and the Gulf of Oman.

This maritime security framework will enable nations to provide escort to their flagged vessels while taking advantage of the cooperation of participating nations for coordination and enhanced maritime domain awareness and surveillance.

While the United States has committed to supporting this initiative, contributions and leadership from regional and international partners will be required to succeed.

U.S. officials continue to coordinate with allies and partners in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East on the details and capabilities required for Operation Sentinel to enable freedom of navigation in the region and protect vital shipping lanes.

U.S. Central Command Statement on U.S. activity in the Strait of Hormuz

TAMPA, Fla., July 19, 2019 — "We have patrol aircraft operating in international airspace monitoring the situation within the Strait of Hormuz. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has been in contact with U.S. ships operating in the area to ensure their safety."

- Lt. Col. Earl Brown, U.S. Central Command Chief of Media Operations

Posted by: curious man | Jul 20 2019 3:19 utc | 99

james @97: he offers a fair analogy

I don't see a "fair analogy" at all.

Is Iran a led by fascist supremists with imperial ambitions like pre-War Japan? Does Iran produce propaganda like pre-war Japan's "Imperial Bushido" which conditioned the population to serve the war machine?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 20 2019 3:23 utc | 100

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