Aletho News


US and Iran are getting ever closer to war. Washington has only itself to blame

By Scott Ritter | RT | November 9, 2021

A tense US-Iranian naval standoff appears to be related to the US enforcement of unilateral oil sanctions targeting Iran. Iran’s response suggests that Tehran may not be willing to play this game for much longer.

Amid growing tensions in the region, the United States and Iran carried out tit-for-tat naval exercises in the Persian Gulf designed to send a signal to the other – mess around at your own risk. The US exercises comprising six coastal patrol boats, supported by an expeditionary mobile base platform ship and a guided-missile destroyer, involved live fire exercises using surface-to-surface missiles. Iran followed this display of US military prowess with a demonstration of its own in the form of the annual Zolfaqar military exercise, which included live-fire drills involving anti-ship missiles, drone swarms, and submarine-launched torpedoes.

The dueling drills come nearly two weeks after a confrontation in international waters between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the US Navy. While the specific circumstances surrounding this confrontation remain unclear, with both Iran and the US providing competing narratives, one thing is for certain – on October 24, 2021, Iranian and US naval forces faced off in a tense environment, loaded weapons pointed at one another, while Iranian forces boarded and took control of a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker, which was then sailed into Iranian territorial waters, ending the face-off.

The Iranians claim that the US was engaged in an act of “piracy,” trying to seize a shipment of Iranian oil that was loaded onto the MV Southys, owned by the Hanoi-based OPEC Petroleum Transport Company. Iran was compelled to board the vessel, using helicopter-borne commandos, and then sail the ship and its 26-person crew to the Persian Gulf port city of Bandar Abbas. The US denies the Iranian accusations, instead claiming that US Navy vessels in the region responded to reports of a ship in distress and were simply monitoring the situation.

History suggests that the Iranian version of events is closer to the truth. The US has a reputation for seizing Iranian petroleum shipments on the high seas, part of what it claims to be the lawful enforcement of US sanctions targeting Iran (it should be noted that the sanctions in question are unilateral in nature, and have no enforceable status under international law.) In August 2020, the US seized four Liberian-flagged vessels (the M/T Bella, M/T Bering, M/T Pandi and M/T Luna) carrying approximately 1.116 million barrels of fuel. No military force was used by the US in the seizure of the cargo. Instead, the US worked with the assistance of foreign partners to threaten ship owners, insurers, and captains with sanctions to force them to surrender their cargo to US control. In the case of the four Liberian-flagged tankers, the ships sailed to the US port of Houston, where their cargo was offloaded.

On the same day that the US affected the seizure of the four Liberian-flagged tankers, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boarded another Liberian-flagged tanker, the M/T Wila, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, using tactics which mirrored those that had been used against the MV Southys – a special forces team was inserted onto the deck of the tanker using a helicopter, while Iranian patrol boats circled nearby. After five hours, the Iranians departed the ship. The US confirmed that the Iranian seizure of the M/T Wila was related to the US seizure of the four tankers. “They [the Iranians] were looking for their gas,”a US spokesperson noted.

According to Iranian sources, the boarding of the MV Southys was related to the August 2020 seizure of the four tankers carrying Iranian oil. An analysis of the events leading up to the seizure of the MV Southys by Iranian forces suggests that this indeed may be the case. According to an anti-Iranian advocacy group, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), satellite imagery from June 2021 shows the MV Southys engaged in what is known as ‘ship-to-ship’ transfer of oil from an Iranian tanker, the Oman Pride. In August 2021 the US Treasury Department named the Oman Pride as an asset of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, which was part of a larger scheme to raise funds for the Quds Force by selling Iranian oil in violation of sanctions. According to UANI, most of this oil ends up being sold to China.

According to the Tankers Trackers website (affiliated with UANI), the MV Southys was supposed to make a delivery of some 700,000 barrels of crude oil to a Chinese port. For some reason, the shipment was rejected, and the MV Southys headed back to the port of Sohar, Oman. The timing of the rejection of the MV Southys’ cargo coincides with a letter sent by UANI to the Vietnam Maritime Administration, which detailed its analysis of satellite photos it claimed showed the MV Southys received a ship-to-ship transfer of oil from the Oman Pride. Given the high-profile composition of the leadership of UANI, which includes many former US government officials and heads of foreign intelligence services, it is likely that this letter was sent in conjunction with outreach by UANI to the US government, which in turn could have put the Vietnamese government on notice that it could be subjected to sanctions for doing business with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. If this scenario is accurate, the Vietnamese government could have ordered the MV Southys not to offload its cargo, leaving it no choice but to return to the Persian Gulf.

When the MV Southys approached Iranian waters, it was shadowed by a US guided-missile destroyer, the USS Sullivans. Perhaps fearing that the US would seek to take control of the MV Southys and its contents, and uncertain as to the loyalty of the vessel’s captain, the Iranians opted to take control of the tanker and divert it to Bandar Abbas, where its contents could be offloaded. By taking control of the MV Southys in this manner, Iran also avoided the logistical difficulties of attempting a ship-to-ship transfer of oil to an Iranian tanker while under the watchful eyes of the US Navy.

The truth about what transpired with the MV Southys will undoubtedly emerge in the weeks to come. What is certain, however, is that the Iranians have long classified US sanctions against them as violations of international law, and US efforts to seize Iranian oil shipments acts of piracy. The seizure of the MV Southys by Iranian forces, and the aggressive way the US Navy was confronted by Iranian patrol boats, suggests that Iran is determined to forcefully confront any future attempts by the US to enforce its unilateral sanctions. One of the major roadblocks to restarting the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is the issue of the US ending its sanctions regime against Iran. If anything, the delay in restarting the JCPOA has shown that there is a military risk attached to the political, and that any continued delay in the negotiations could result in war.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ‘SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.’

November 9, 2021 - Posted by | Wars for Israel | , ,


  1. “A tense US-Iranian naval standoff appears to be related to the US enforcement of unilateral oil sanctions targeting Iran. Iran’s response suggests that Tehran may not be willing to play this game for much longer”.

    “Unilateral Oil Sanctions”, translated for the layman, means, “PIRACY”…..The USA is engaged in Piracy.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | November 9, 2021 | Reply

  2. The US should get the eff out of the Persian Gulf!

    I trust Scott Ritter’s instincts and analyses going back to the 2003 et seq shock-and-awe shattering of Iraq at ZioIsrael’s goosing.. Thanks to him, RT, and Aletho News.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by roberthstiver | November 10, 2021 | Reply

  3. Is ANYONE in the USA monitoring the NATIONAL DEBT at this point in time? Given that the USA’s Richest people have avoided their RESPONSIBILITIES to the USA by AVOIDING TAX, Who is going to pay for more wars?
    Hello….is anybody there ???? WHO is going to pay for this LUNACY ???

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | November 10, 2021 | Reply

  4. If the anglozionazi empire of filth is deluded enough to attack Iran it can prepare for the surviving chosenites to overwhelm their Rancho Goyim USSA because if any khazar squatters survive the full onslaught of Iran’s counter punch there will be no other country that will allow the welfare warfare low lifers to infest them apart from occupied STASI Erika’s home base. There will be no attack on Iran and the dogs in apartheid, occupied Palestine know they are on their own.

    The juice screams out in pain as it slices your throat.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by planetsheeple | November 10, 2021 | Reply

    • According to a French diplomat, some years ago, he described Israel as a “shitty little country in the Middle East”. But they have the power to control the USA. How has the “Most Powerful Nation on Earth” succumbed, to Israel……without a shot fired????

      Why is the USA defenseless, against Israel……Could it be “Totally corrupted”, from the Top Down???

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by brianharryaustralia | November 10, 2021 | Reply

  5. The commenters above are right. Are accurate. Are true.
    Oh, how the Zionists of Israel and its partisans abroad and the whorish politicians who pledge their allegiance, our money, our military to another war for the benefit of Israel, how successful the enslavement of America.

    And to see the very recent pictures of American air force in tandem with Israeli air force, how sucker-punched can America be?

    To those American pilots, Watch your back! That same Israeli air force napalm bombed the USSLiberty. Torpedoed the USSLiberty. Machine gunned survivors in life rafts.

    To those American pilots, Israel will do the same to you as they did to the American naval ship, the USSLiberty in 1967. Then deny it. Then call it a “terrible mistake.” Then, fight any reparations. All the while, American military leaders and politicians will threaten court marshal, then you’ll know…

    Israel is not an ally to America. It is the opposite.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by michael | November 10, 2021 | Reply

    • Great comment! I would add only this to your third para: Tried its damnedest to sink the Liberty to the floor of the sea without trace or single survivor/witness…thus making US war on Egypt inevitable (plus possible nuclear war with the USSR, then Nasser’s ally?).

      The vermin-bastards….

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by roberthstiver | November 10, 2021 | Reply

      • Yes and agreement here, also. The objective of Israel’s attack on the USSLiberty was to provoke a war response from the United States. On Israel’s behalf. As usual. What treachery.

        Again, Israel and its Zionist enterprise consists of waging war. That war is on-going. It is waged here in America, to influence America to complicity on the behalf of Israel.

        You’ve got to understand that, America.

        How America is held hostage by Israel and its Zionism is astounding. Does America deserve this? That is another issue, one that involves complicity, a complicity of the politicians who have sold out America, sold out its guarantees of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

        The whole of the freedom to object to what Israel does, where it is leading America and the rest of the world, the freedom to express objection that will be declared “a crime” of hate, or antisemitism and ad nauseam, that Israel has made American laws to criminalize questioning or contesting or objecting… there’s you loss, America.

        And Israel is waging war on you America. Don’t think so? Ask Rachel Corrie. As any American murdered who was part of the ‘Freedom Flotilla’. Ask the dead of 9/11. Ad nauseam.

        And those who express objection to Israel here, you are the brave heart. Better to be the brave heart than the cowed. The cowardly. The meek and mild and acquiescent. The stupid or the slaved.

        Is that what you want?

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by michael | November 10, 2021 | Reply

        • “How America is held hostage by Israel and its Zionism is astounding. Does America deserve this? That is another issue, one that involves complicity, a complicity of the politicians who have sold out America, sold out its guarantees of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution”.

          Just how J Edgar Hoover used to keep “dirt file’s” on anyone famous(from the President down). Even Presidents were scared of him. And America’s Politicians have taken the bribes and engorged themselves, while the American people’s jobs have been offshored to Asian sweatshops.

          There’s a LOT of dirt in Politics, and America’s politicians are the RICHEST Politicians in the World…….They are terrified that “The People” will find out what they’ve been up to, and will do anything to cover their tracks…….
          It’s the old golden rule. “He who has the Gold, makes the Rules”………Good Luck America, you Country is going to need it.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by brianharryaustralia | November 10, 2021 | Reply

  6. Approximately eleven years ago, an Iranian inventor created a new Electronic Warfare devise, Khibiny capable of jamming missile, battleground communication, ground-to-satellite communication, drones and cruise guidance systems in effect any weapon, surveillance or guidance system devise aboard naval patrol ships. This same devise was successfully used by the Russian Air Force , against two Israeli jets during a confrontation in Syrian air space as well as against the USS Donald Cook during patrols in the Black Sea. It was so effective it proved to the Russian Air Force that the devise could temporarily knock out the entire early warning system for Alaska’s NORAD.

    The mullahs will not hesitate to issue orders to activate the kihibiny Electronic Jamming devises. It will neutralize any weapon dependent on electronics, be they on land or sea. In effect, once Khibiny is deployed, any ship will be reduced to a floating bathtub. This invention, based on“Magrav technology”, was conceived of and the technical details were offered to, various governments by the same Iranian-born nuclear engineer Mehran Keshe (no intellectual property rights or greedy grabs for wealth) At this point readers may be asking themselves, what was the U.S. reaction to the inventor and his devise? Executive Order signed by President Obama on 23 April 2012. E.O. 313? banning the use/research of Magrav technology” here in the USA, justifying his reason for doing so because Iran used it to down and then reverse engineered it. The drone is one of the United States most secretive and sophisticated weapons systems. This incident occured in December, 2011. Iran then, turned the tables on us sharing this devise with Syria.

    Mehran Keshe felt he had to respond to Obama in an open letter by stating: I quote: “Your Excellency, We offer you a path towards real world peace through the development of this new technology for the whole human race. I invite you to a direct presentation of our technology to you and your cabinet, to be given on neutral ground where the president of Iran could also be present and where no one betrays anyone else, so that we can all understand the fundamental change that is about to be brought to mankind. Then let us talk about genuine world peace. As I said in my Sunday interview in Los Angeles, let us convert the military factories of the US to provide resources for a US space organization, so that the tools of war become the craft of universal peace. He went on further…. “The aircraft carriers of the US will become nothing but floating bathtubs if our Magrav’s technology is used effectively, and the runways full of F16s and 18s and so on will be nothing but runway museums of iron birds, as these craft will not be able to fly if their electronic systems are once touched by Magrav’s space technology. These crafts and battleships would have to be rewired from A to Z before they could ever operate again. President Obama, we invite you to understand this change and to let us show you the technology that is bringing it about. Then we invite you to the table of world peace. Please sign a decree for genuine peace and not a gagging order for science and technology, which your people understand fully what we have developed as they try to protect the pride of your nation…end quote

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by elmerfudzie | November 10, 2021 | Reply

    • Wow……Iran will not be an easy target for the USA. The USA didn’t beet the North Koreans, nor, the Vietnamese, nor the Afghans, and their National Debt is now in Melt down……….and Israel wants the USA to go to war with Iran.

      The USA is being lured into a trap………and it will cost the USA Multi Trillions of Dollars, on top of their already debt of $29,000,000,000,000………..

      “Once we squeeze Everything we can out of the USA, it can dry up, and blow away”…….Netanyahu.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by brianharryaustralia | November 10, 2021 | Reply

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