Trump regime hauled before US court on piracy charges

Ensuring Socio-economic Justice

Crescent International

Muharram 16, 1442 2020-09-04

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Last month, the US regime, acting as pirates on the high seas, stole 1.2 million barrels of oil from four oil tankers that it alleged were destined to Venezuela from Iran.

The owners of the four oil tankers filed a lawsuit against the seizure in a Washington DC court on September 1.

They claim their cargo was not destined for Venezuela.

Instead, it was headed to Trinidad and payment was due upon delivery.

The US navy stole the oil and confiscated the four tankers in mid-August and hauled them to Houston.

In their lawsuit, three Gulf companies—the owners of the tankers—say they have lost business because of the seizure.

The UAE-based Mobin International, owned by Samika Kohli, claimed in court documents it was the owner of the cargo aboard the Bella and Bering tankers.

Oman Fuel, registered in the UK, said it owned the cargo on the Pandi and Luna, while Oman-registered Sohar Fuel also claimed part of the Luna cargo.

Oman Fuel is owned by Mahmoud Madanipour.

The US has on previous occasions alleged Madanipour has links with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an allegation he has denied.

The US has provided no proof for its scandalous allegation.

When the US first announced seizure of oil and the four tankers, the mainstream corporate media simply parroted Washington’s propaganda.

CNN web page made the bold announcement: “Justice Department disrupts millions of barrels of Iranian fuel shipment bound for Venezuela.”

Except, that it wasn’t.

The Wall Street Journal, mouthpiece for America’s corporate thieves, was equally gung-ho.

“U.S. Seizes Iranian Fuel Cargo for First Time,” screamed its headline.

Like CNN, WSJ was also lying and merely peddling American propaganda.

Iran vehemently denied that it had anything to do with the cargo or the four tankers.

Hojjat Soltani, Iran’s ambassador to Venezuela, called US President Donald Trump a “terrorist” and denied the tankers were Iranian, saying the US reports were “yet another lie and psychological warfare”.

In a Twitter message Ambassador Soltani wrote: “Another lie and psychological war of the US imperialist propaganda. Neither the ships are Iranian nor their owner or flag has anything to do with Iran. Terrorist Trump cannot make up for his humiliation and defeat against the great nation of Iran with false propaganda.”

The fact that the tankers’ owners have lodged a case in a US court indicates they are confident of their claims.

During May and June, Iran sent five tankers carrying fuel products and food to Venezuela.

It did so openly and warned the US that if the tankers are intercepted, there will be consequences.

Despite US naval ships prowling the Caribbean Sea, they dared not come near Iranian tankers, aware that there would be serious consequences.

So, why did the US seize these tankers and their cargo in mid-August?

There are two possible reasons. First, that it knew the owners did not have much power, like the Islamic Republic of Iran has. So, they were easy prey.

Second, in recent weeks, the US has suffered repeated humiliations and wanted to deflect attention from its failures.

The tanker seizures occurred a day before the US was humiliated in the UN Security Council over its attempt to extend the arms embargo against Iran that is due to expire in October.

Washington knew the resolution would fail.

Of the 15 members, only the US and the Dominican Republic (a new superpower?) voted in favour of the US-sponsored resolution.

China and Russia voted against it and the other 11 members abstained, essentially repudiating US attempt.

The tankers’ seizure was a pathetic attempt by the US to present a macho image and try to convince the world that it still matters.

It doesn’t. It is a spent force and an outlaw regime that the rest of the world is beginning to challenge.

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