Iran’s navy seizes oil tanker that once was at center of major crisis between the Islamic Republic and Washington

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2024/01/irans-navy-seizes-oil-tanker-that-once-was-at-center-of-major-crisis-between-the-islamic-republic-and-washington; republished below in full, unedited, for informational, educational, & research purposes:

The mullahs know the Biden regime is weak and so treasonous and appeasement-minded that it just sent them $10 billion. So they know that the U.S. will do nothing.

“‘Unauthorized’ men in military garb take over contentious oil tanker in Gulf of Oman — one day after Houthi rebels strike in full-scale drone, missile attack,” Associated Press, January 11, 2024:

Iran’s navy seized an oil tanker on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman that once was at the center of a major crisis between Tehran and Washington, officials said, a seizure that further escalates tensions in the Mideast waterways.

The vessel was once known as the Suez Rajan and was involved in a yearlong dispute that ultimately saw the U.S. Justice Department seize 1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil on it.

The seizure also comes after weeks of attacks by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on shipping in the Red Sea, including their largest barrage ever of drones and missiles launched late Tuesday.

That has raised the risk of possible retaliatory strikes by U.S.-led forces now patrolling the vital waterway, especially after a United Nations Security Council vote on Wednesday condemning the Houthis and as American and British officials warned of potential consequences over the attacks.

Iran’s state-run television acknowledged the seizure late Thursday afternoon, hours after armed men boarded it.

The oil tanker was boarded in the Gulf of Oman by “unauthorized” people in military uniforms early on Thursday morning.

“The violating oil tanker Suez Rajan … stole Iranian oil by leading it to the Americans and delivered it to the Americans,” state TV said.

It said Iran’s navy, rather than its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, conducted the seizure….

Biden Has Already Allowed the Houthis to Win~Biden Blocked ‘Additional Military Response’ to Houthi Attack on US Navy~UK retail giant and others warn of shipping delays due to Houthi attacks on Red Sea merchant ships

Playing defense against Islamic terrorists doesn’t work.

Playing defense against Islamic terrorists doesn’t work. The terrorists, at least initially, don’t need to win, they just need to take your society hostage and force you to constantly be on the defensive. Parts of your economy get shut down and you’re always on alert.

The Houthi Jihadists in Yemen, backed by Iran, have taken a crucial waterway hostage. Biden responded by playing defense, responding to Houthi attacks on shipping but without making a concerted effort to take out the terrorist infrastructure.

And so here we are.

Biden’s Red Sea Coalition responds defensively to attacks on shipping.

U.S. Navy helicopters returned fire and sank three small boats carrying Houthi militants in the Red Sea on Sunday, after U.S. warships responded to a distress call from a merchant vessel, military officials said.

A Maersk container ship, the Singapore-flagged Hangzhou, issued a distress call at about 6:30 a.m. local time, U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Sunday. The merchant vessel said four small boats were attacking it.

“The small boats, originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, fired crew-served and small-arms weapons at the Maersk Hangzhou, getting to within 20 meters of the vessel, and attempted to board the vessel,” Central Command said.

Helicopters from two U.S. ships — the USS Eisenhower and the USS Gravely — responded and issued verbal calls to the small boats, U.S. officials said.

While the helicopters were “in the process of issuing verbal calls to the small boats, the small boats fired upon the U.S. helicopters with crew served weapons and small arms,” Central Command said.

Service members aboard the Navy helicopters returned fire and sank three of the four small boats, killing the crews, U.S. officials said. The fourth boat fled the area.

Read between the lines here. US Naval personnel were only allowed to fire on the Houthis when fired on.

They did not have authorization to fire when the Houthis were firing on the Maersk Hangzhou or on what were clearly enemy vessels, but only defensively in response to attacks on the US Navy.

Is it any wonder that Maersk is calling it a day?

Shipping and logistics behemoth A.P. Moller-Maersk said Tuesday that it’s suspending its shipping operations through the Red Sea until further notice as it investigates an attack on one of its ships by Iran-backed Houthi rebels this past weekend.

Biden has demonstrated that he’ll only react defensively to clear attacks. That’s not going to secure the Red Sea for shipping.

So Biden has handed the Houthis a victory. They don’t need to actually seize ships, they just need to demonstrate that the area is unsafe for vessels (unless they covertly pay protection money to the terrorists) and that America isn’t going to make the threat go away any time soon.

This is how we lose and the terrorists win.

______________________________________________________________________

US Navy personnel were only allowed to fire on the Houthis when fired on.

Yesterday I wrote that Biden had allowed the Houthis to win by refusing to take any affirmative action against the Iran-backed Jihadis operating in Yemen and attacking shipping in the Red Sea.

“US Naval personnel were only allowed to fire on the Houthis when fired on. They did not have authorization to fire when the Houthis were firing on the Maersk Hangzhou or on what were clearly enemy vessels, but only defensively in response to attacks on the US Navy.”

An NBC News account of inside deliberations in the Biden administration reveals that Biden refused to approve any follow-up response.

“According to the officials, U.S. Central Command provided Defense Department leaders with options for an additional military response after the incident, and the Pentagon sent those options to senior White House officials. Biden, who was on vacation in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, did not approve an additional military response.”

Military leaders probably wanted to at least carry out some minimal strikes on Houthi bases. Nope.

Now the Biden administration and its Red Sea coalition issued yet another threat warning of “consequences.”

We hereby reiterate the following and warn the Houthis against further attacks…

“Let our message now be clear: we call for the immediate end of these illegal attacks and release of unlawfully detained vessels and crews. The Houthis will bear the responsibility of the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, and free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways. We remain committed to the international rules-based order and are determined to hold malign actors accountable for unlawful seizures and attacks.”

Accountable and consequences. Words to terrify any bureaucrat. Not so much international terrorists.

Biden has pledged nothing, committed to nothing and therefore threatened nothing. Instead, he’s allowed Iran to hold the world’s shipping hostage.

_____________________________________________________________

The Houthis are Iranian proxies who support Hamas. They have been escalating attacks in the Red Sea against merchant ships traveling to and from Israel. They have also launched missiles against Israel. For this reason, Biden created a naval coalition, called “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” to stop them. The motto for Houthis and their supporters: “Allahu akbar. Death to America, death to Israel, curse for the Jews, victory for Islam.” That motto is consistent with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Authority and virtually every violent and stealth jihadist entity. Few, if any, would have foreseen that the Houthis, from one of the world’s poorest countries, would blockade one of the busiest trade corridors in the world, the Red Sea, disrupting merchant ships and even attacking them, and causing impact on businesses worldwide.

Britain’s multinational retail giant Next has now announced a two-and-a-half week delay in stock delivery times for products coming through the Suez Canal.

“Next warns of stock shortages if Red Sea shipping problems continue,” by Jabed Ahmed, Independent, January 4, 2024:

Retail giant Next has warned supplies of its products could be delayed if attacks on container ships in the Red Sea continue.

Attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels on ships in the Bab-el-Mandeb Straight of the Suez Canal have seen the world’s largest shipping firms halt shipments through the Red Sea, with the diversions adding thousands of miles to journeys, driving up costs and leading to delays.

The attacks have forced a number of companies to reroute cargo around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, which adds 3,000 to 3,500 nautical miles to journeys connecting Asia with Europe — adding about 10 days to journeys, according to the Dutch bank ING.

Next is not the first company to warn of issues in the supply of products. Last month furniture giant Ikea said some of its products could also be delayed due to attacks.

According to a CNBC’s Stock market and business report:

Drone and missile attacks by Yemen-based Houthi militants have upended shipping through the Red Sea and Suez Canal, a narrow waterway through which some 10% of the world’s trade sails.

The effects of the jihad against Israel are expanding globally — from antisemitism and intimidating pro-Hamas protests to the latest impact on businesses due to Red Sea attacks. In an update, the American-led naval coalition, which has grown to 13 countries including the US, has just vowed consequences if the Houthis continue attacks in the Red Sea. The Sydney Morning Herald stated that missile sites in Yemen may be targeted and struck. The participating countries in the Red Sea coalition are: America, Britain, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore and New Zealand.

Israel-Hamas war: Israeli Govt. on hostage operations, murdered bodies held captive

The Israeli Government provided an update on the 129 hostages being held captive by Hamas. Israeli Government Spokesman Eylon Levy says Hamas is holding the bodies of hostages that have been murdered. The government says Hezbollah has launched an anti-tank missile from inside Lebanon at the Greek Orthodox Church, injuring a civilian.

Pentagon Declares U.S. Warship, Commercial Vessels Under Attack In Red Sea

The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney in Souda Bay, Greece. The American warship and multiple commercial ships came under attack Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said, potentially marking a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war. “We’re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available,” the Pentagon said. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill Dodge/U.S. Navy via AP)

The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney in Souda Bay, Greece. The American warship and multiple commercial ships came under attack Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said, potentially marking a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill Dodge/U.S. Navy via AP)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
10:25 AM – Sunday, December 3, 2023

SEE: https://www.oann.com/newsroom/pentagon-declares-u-s-warship-commercial-vessels-under-attack-in-red-sea/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

The Pentagon announced that a United States warship and several commercial vessels are under attack in the Red Sea.

On Sunday, the Pentagon declared that an American warship and several commercial ships have come under attack in the Red Sea.

Yemen’s Houthi Rebels, which is a Shia Islamist political and military organization, announced attacks on two ships that they claimed were linked to Israel, but did not recognize targeting a U.S. Navy vessel.

The strike might have been a significant escalation in a sequence of maritime assaults in the Middle East connected to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“We’re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available, later,” the Pentagon announced. 

The Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, have been launching drones and cruise missiles in recent weeks at the USS Carney, a guided-missile destroyer of the Arleigh Burke-class. 

As a result, the Houthi rebels have taken credit for the strike on Sunday. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is anticipated to provide an update shortly.

Additionally, the British military earlier mentioned that there had been an anticipated drone attack and several explosions in the Red Sea, but did not elaborate further. 

The Pentagon failed to disclose where it believed the fire originated. However, as the Jewish state fights Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been attacking ships in the Red Sea and firing missiles and drones at Israel.

A U.S. authority, speaking about intelligence-related topics while maintaining anonymity, announced that the attack started at approximately 10:00 a.m. in Sanaa, Yemen, and went on for about five hours.

Houthi military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree also announced the attacks, explaining that the first vessel was struck by a missile and that the second was hit by a drone while in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that is connected to the Red Sea near the Gulf of Aden.

Additionally, Saree did not acknowledge any American warship being included in the attack. He stated that the attacks will continue “as long as Israel continues its war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”

Even as a temporary ceasefire brought the Israel-Hamas war to a halt and Hamas exchanged hostages for Palestinian prisoners, global shipping has become an increasingly prominent target of the conflict.

However, the likelihood of the seaborne attacks returning had increased with the breakdown of the truce, the restart of the Israeli airstrike, and its ground offensive.

U.S. forces in the Middle East have been struck approximately 75 times since the middle of last month. However, the Pentagon does not count attacks on American warships at sea in this amount.

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts

How the U.S. Should Respond to Attacks by Iran-Backed Houthis on American Ships

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2023/11/how-the-u-s-should-respond-to-attacks-by-iran-backed-houthis-on-american-ships;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

The Americans are trying to tamp down the possibility of an escalation of the war, by sending a diplomat to Israel to persuade Jerusalem not to raise the level of violence in Lebanon. Instead of doing that, the Bidenites should try another tack. They should first of all respond to the attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis on American and other ships. On October 10, a missile attack from Yemen targeted a guided missile destroyer, the USS Mason, but both missiles fell short; neither hit the ship. Nonetheless, the Americans did not at once respond by hitting Houthi targets in Yemen to discourage future attacks. On November 10 the Americans did send an MQ-9 Reaper drone toward Yemen, but the Houthis shot it down before it got to the country. And there have been no American attacks, as yet, on the Houthi bases in Yemen.

Now the Houthis have struck yet again, seizing a cargo ship in the Red Sea. The ship has been described as British-owned and Japanese-operated, but the Houthis claim it is “Israel-linked,” because, they assert, the ship is “owned by an Israeli.” This may be true: the ship, the Galaxy Leader, may only seem to be “British-owned” because it was registered in the Isle of Man, but it was to a company, Ray Car Carriers, which is a unit of Tel Aviv-incorporated Ray Shipping, according to LSEG data. In any case, even if the Israeli connection can be proven, seizing ships on the high seas, holding onto both them and their cargo, is a violation of international law. Israel and the Houthis, a stateless terror group that is a proxy of Iran, are not formally at war.

Why doesn’t the American military launch a major series of airstrikes on Houthi targets, both in response to the Houthi missile attacks on the USS Mason, to the shooting down of the MQ-9 Reaper drone, and finally, for its act of piracy in seizing the Galaxy Leader? Such an attack would be welcomed by Israel, which at the moment has its hands full in Gaza and would be much relieved to have the Houthi problem taken care of by the American military. Saudi Arabia and the UAE would also welcome an American attack on the Houthis. That would be one less worry for the region, and one more worry for Iran.

Finally, the American ships in the two carrier groups off the coast of Lebanon are well-positioned to attack Hezbollah. On what grounds could Washington do so? The Americans have a score to settle with Hezbollah, which back in 1983 blew up a Marine barracks near Beirut, killing 241 Marines. Hezbollah, like Hamas, is a designated terror group. 

As long as those American carrier groups are in the eastern Mediterranean, Hezbollah is unlikely to provoke a major war with Israel. It has already seen the severe American attacks on Iranian proxies and allies in Iraq and Syria, in response to attacks on American bases in those two countries. It will continue launching missiles at Israel, about 30 a day, as it has been since October 7. All it takes, however, for such a war to start is if another Hezbollah attack were to kill a large number of Israelis in northern Israel, or for Kataib Hezbollah, the pro-Iran militia in Iraq, to kill American soldiers, which so far it has not managed to do. Hezbollah now fears not just the IDF, which has demonstrated in Gaza the ferocity of its war-fighting capabilities, but also those powerful American carrier groups in the eastern Mediterranean that could inflict such huge damage on the Islamic Republic. Would Iran enter such a conflict on the side of Hezbollah, which would mean facing both the IDF and the American military? I don’t think Iran has a death wish. Do you?

Hizballah unveils powerful Russian-made anti-ship missiles as Iran proxies step up attacks on Israel and US

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2023/11/hizballah-unveils-powerful-russian-made-anti-ship-missiles-as-iran-proxies-step-up-attacks-on-israel-and-us;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Iran’s proxy war against Israel and the U.S. is escalating. Iran’s most powerful proxy, Hizballah, has now warned of a regional war if Israel continues its action in Gaza, and has unveiled “powerful Russian anti-ship missiles” as a “threat against U.S. warships.” This week, despite American warnings not to escalate, Hizballah fired 20 rockets into Israel, “setting off sirens in the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights.” Hizballah is calling Iran’s proxies the “Axis of Resistance.

Meanwhile, at least 45 U.S. service members have reportedly been injured in attacks from Iran proxies, nineteen of them with traumatic brain injury. To Iran and its proxies, the exchange of fire with America and Israel is nothing less than jihad, while the West downplays the critical importance of this fact.

According to the doctrine of Mahdism, part of preparing for the reappearance of the 12th Imam is removing all obstacles and barriers to his return. Against this backdrop, Iran’s hardline clergy affiliated with the IRGC claim religious hadiths state that the “Jewish state will be destroyed before Mahdi’s arrival.” According to these accounts, which are legitimized through religious scripture, “Sh’ia Muslims will be on the side of the war against Jews” prior to the reappearance of Mahdi. As such, the collapse of
“Israeli regime and Zionist Jews” at the behest of “Iran and the Resistance Axis” will take place “prior to the emergence of Mahdi.”

The Mahdi is the Shias’ 12th Imam, aka the Hidden Imam.

Only a no-nonsense maneuver of deterrence could possibly keep Iran at bay. America’s longtime policy of appeasement under Obama and Biden is clearly ineffective.

“Hezbollah’s anti-ship missiles bolster its threat to US navy,” by Laila Bassam and Tom Perry, Reuters, November 8, 2023:

BEIRUT, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Powerful Russian anti-ship missiles acquired by Hezbollah give it the means to deliver on its leader’s veiled threat against U.S. warships and underline the grave risks of any regional war, sources familiar with the group’s arsenal say.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Washington last week his group had something in store for the U.S. vessels deployed to the region since war erupted last month between the Palestinian group Hamas and Israel, shaking the wider Middle East.

Two sources in Lebanon familiar with the Iran-backed group’s arsenal say he was referring to Hezbollah’s greatly enhanced anti-ship missile capabilities, including the Russian-made Yakhont missile with a range of 300 km (186 miles).

Reports by media and analysts have for years indicated that Hezbollah acquired Yakhont missiles in Syria after deploying there more than a decade ago to help President Bashar al-Assad fight a civil war….

Washington says its Mediterranean naval deployment – comprising two aircraft carriers and their supporting ships – aims to prevent the conflict from spreading by deterring Iran, which backs groups including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad….

Nasrallah said in a speech on Friday that the U.S. warships in the Mediterranean “do not scare us, and will not scare us”.

“We have prepared for the fleets with which you threaten us,” he said….

Pro-Palestine Protesters Block Military Supply Ship Leaving Port of Oakland

A container ship is loaded at the Port of Oakland on October 14, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:46 PM – Friday, November 3, 2023

SEE: https://www.oann.com/newsroom/pro-palestine-protesters-block-military-supply-ship-leaving-port-of-oakland/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

A U.S. military supply ship was prevented from departing from the Port of Oakland on Friday due to pro-Palestine protesters tying themselves to the vessel and calling for an end to the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Additionally, the furious protesters obstructed access to Berth 20, which is home to the container ship Cape Orlando.

According to protest organizations, the ship was loaded in Tacoma, Washington, with military hardware and weapons that were headed for Israel. 

The Arab Resource Organizing Center, which is based in San Francisco, reportedly coordinated the protest.

“It’s incumbent on all of us as taxpayers to demand more and to stop U.S. aid to Israel as long as the violence continues,” said Lara Kiswani, the organizer and executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

Around 200 people were demonstrating, and many of them were holding banners calling for an end to U.S. military assistance to Israel while carrying Palestinian flags.

Police were also present at the scene.

A representative for the Port of Oakland refrained from condemning the protesters and instead said that since the demonstration started at 6:45 a.m., it has not interfered with any other cargo handling operations.

In order to make sure the protests were peaceful, Oakland Police informed KPIX that they were monitoring the rally and working with the Port of Oakland and the U.S. Coast Guard.

As of Friday at 4:33 p.m. PST, no one has been arrested.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts