(RightWing.org) – Former President Barack Obama, his Secretary of State John Kerry, and his Iranian-born mentor/gatekeeper/unappointed liaison with her birth country, Valerie Jarrett, conspired together to send a literal plane load of cash to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Now, one of the world’s largest state sponsors of terrorism has been involved in “actions [that] are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability,” according to a statement from US Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet (CENTCOM).
Piracy on the High Seas
Recent activity by Iran’s Islamic Republican Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) in international waters around the country has prompted a group of senators to send a letter to President Joe Biden expressing their concern. The missive was signed by 12 individuals representing a bipartisan effort that included Republicans Lindsey Graham (SC) and Marco Rubio (FL), Democrats Margaret Wood Hassan (NH) and Joe Manchin (WV), and Independent Kyrsten Sinema (AZ).
The senators asked Biden to enforce economic sanctions already legally in place against Iran regarding “petrochemical and petroleum sales [and doing so] will defund terrorists’ [sic] intent on harming the United States and our partners.” They claim the Department of Homeland Security’s Investigations branch (HSI) has been hindered from enforcing those penalties because of his administration’s policy limitations imposed through the Treasury Department. They go on to say that this “failure to support HSI’s Iranian oil seizure and disruption operations… is a policy choice that must be reversed.”
According to the CENTCOM press release mentioned above, the oil tanker Advantage Sweet was sailing in international waters in the Gulf of Oman when it sent out a distress call because the IRGCN was in the process of seizing it. As with many of these ships, it is a truly international operation. Media reports say that this Chinese-owned, Marshall Islands-flagged vessel carrying Kuwaiti oil to Houston, Texas, was captured on April 27, with video purportedly supplied by Tehran showing the moment armed soldiers rappelled from a helicopter onto the ship’s deck.
Per a second CENTCOM statement, the IRGCN forced the oil tanker Niovi, which is registered in Panama, into its territorial waters near Bandar Abbas, Iran, while it was transiting the Arabian Gulf from Dubai to a port in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on May 3. Video of the incident shows the massive ship being swarmed by smaller attack boats. Numerous outlets have reported that satellite imagery shows that the Advantage Sweet has been moved to that location as well.
A Reuters article claims seizure of the Advantage Sweet by Iran was a “tit-for-tat” response to the United States seizing the cargo of the tanker Suez Rajan after a judge in the United States Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) ordered it. A lawsuit was filed in September 2011 seeking “compensatory and punitive damages against [Iran and others] for their role in facilitating the attacks of September 11, 2001.” Presumably, the court ordered this oil taken to be set off against the award to the plaintiffs of more than $1.8 billion, plus the compound interest of 4.96% per annum.
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