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Al Jazeera English vom 20.07.2019

"US to launch plan for 'free passage' of ships in Iran's waterway"

Der stellvertretende US-Verteidigungsminister John Rood hat angekündigt, dass die US-Regierung auf die aktuelle Krise im Golf mit einem Plan zur Sicherung der Seewege vor Ort reagieren wird. "'We are starting a concept called Sentinel in which we will have a series of countries engaged to preserve the free and open passage of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and in the Persian Gulf,' US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood said at the Aspen Security Forum on Saturday. The US has had discussions with NATO allies, some 'partners in the Gulf' and others to join the effort to keep the 'vital waterway' open, said Rood, adding that the new operation would 'come into being over the coming days and weeks'. 'The idea is to have additional sentinels being able to observe activity in the Gulf with intelligence and surveillance assets, having a naval and air presence to restore stability and also having capability to respond'."

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Guardian vom 20.07.2019

"How Trump’s arch-hawk lured Britain into a dangerous trap to punish Iran"

Simon Tisdall meint in diesem Kommentar zur Beschlagnahmung eines britischen Tankers durch den Iran, dass Großbritannien in eine von US-Sicherheitsberater Bolton gestellte Falle gelaufen sei. "(...) when US spy satellites, tasked with helping block Iranian oil exports in line with Trump’s global embargo, began to track Grace I on its way, allegedly, to Syria, Bolton saw an opportunity. The Spanish newspaper, El Pais, citing official sources, takes up the story: 'The Grace 1, which flies a Panamanian flag, had been under surveillance by US satellites since April, when it was anchored off Iran. The supertanker, full to the brim with crude oil, was too big for the Suez Canal, and so it sailed around the Cape of Good Hope before heading for the Mediterranean.' 'According to the US intelligence services, it was headed for the Syrian oil refinery of Banias. Washington advised Madrid of the arrival of the supertanker 48 hours ahead of time, and the Spanish navy followed its passage through the Strait of Gibraltar. It was expected to cross via international waters, as many Iranian vessels do without being stopped.' Although Spanish officials, speaking after the event, said they would have intercepted the ship 'if we had had the information and the opportunity', Spain took no action at the time. But Bolton, in any case, was not relying on Madrid. The US had already tipped off Britain. On 4 July, after Grace I entered British-Gibraltar territorial waters, the fateful order was issued in London – it is not known by whom – and 30 marines stormed aboard. (...) The Bolton gambit succeeded. Despite its misgivings, Britain has been co-opted on to the front line of Washington’s confrontation with Iran."

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BBC vom 20.07.2019

"Was the Iran tanker crisis avoidable?"

BBC-Korrespondent Jonathan Marcus erläutert, warum die britische Regierung auf die iranische Festsetzung eines britischen Tankers vorerst diplomatisch reagieren wolle. Der Vorfall werfe allerdings die Frage auf, ob die britische Beschlagnahme eines iranischen Tankers vor zwei Wochen sicherheitspolitisch wohl überlegt gewesen sei. "Given the highly fragile and volatile situation in the Gulf, together with the desperate need to bolster the flagging Iran nuclear accord, was it sensible to detain the vessel carrying Iranian oil off Gibraltar? Were the wider potential consequences adequately examined? What did ministers think Iran would do? And did they really believe that this arrest could be insulated from the wider crisis in the Gulf? Secondly, why was UK shipping not adequately protected in the Gulf? (...) The episode raises some uncomfortable issues regarding Britain's global maritime role. The UK has the pretence of playing a significant naval role in the Gulf. (...) Naval experts believe that the Royal Navy simply no longer has sufficient numbers of work-horses - frigates and destroyers - to be able to surge vessels into the Gulf when a crisis beckons. You clearly cannot be everywhere at once. Britain must tailor its armed forces according to its means. But this crisis did not erupt yesterday. And for whatever reason, the naval presence there was insufficient to prevent the seizure of a British merchant vessel. Perhaps Iran's warnings were not taken seriously enough?"

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Associated Press vom 20.07.2019

"Iran’s seizure of UK tanker in Gulf seen as escalation"

Auch die Associated Press berichtet über den jüngsten Vorfall in der Straße von Hormus. "The seizing of the British tanker marked perhaps the most significant escalation since tensions between Iran and the West began rising in May. At that time, the U.S. announced it was dispatching an aircraft carrier and additional troops to the Middle East, citing unspecified threats posed by Iran. The ongoing showdown has caused jitters around the globe, with each maneuver bringing fear that any misunderstanding or misstep by either side could lead to war."

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Foreign Affairs vom 17.07.2019

"Why the Strait of Hormuz Is Still the World’s Most Important Chokepoint"

Allen James Fromherz meint mit Verweis auf die 1980 ausgerufene Carter-Doktrin, dass die USA die Sicherheit der Straße von Hormus auch militärisch garantieren sollten. "One reason for this destabilizing opportunism may be the faulty assumption by U.S. policymakers that the Carter Doctrine, under which the United States vowed to use military force to protect its interests in the Gulf, no longer applies. As the United States consumes less oil from the Middle East, the argument goes, its need to ensure the security of the region also decreases. That, however, misunderstands both history and geopolitics. The United States depends on Gulf security for more than oil. The United States depends on Gulf security for more than oil. First, and most crucially, the rising possibility of nuclear conflict (...). Second, the amount of trade that passes through Hormuz has grown rapidly with the rise of the wealthy oil states along the Gulf. Finally, the United States has invested heavily in naval bases, in Bahrain, Qatar, and elsewhere, that are accessible by sea only through Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz will remain the world’s most valuable and vulnerable trade and maritime chokepoints, no matter how much oil prices might decline. (...) Hormuz needs a steady guarantor of security, even an imperfect one."

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Spiegel Online vom 30.06.2019

"Donald Trump lädt Kim Jong Un ins Weiße Haus ein"

Nach seinem über Twitter vereinbarten Treffen mit dem nordkoreanischen Machthaber Kim Jon Un hat US-Präsident Donald Trump den Diktator im Gegenzug nun nach Washington eingeladen, berichtet Spiegel Online. "Gemeinsam mit Kim ging Trump über die Grenze und lief einige Schritte in Nordkorea. Anschließend überschritten beide die Grenze nach Südkorea und wechselten ein paar Worte. Kim sagte, er hätte nicht erwartet, Trump jemals an der Grenze zu treffen. Trump betonte mehrmals sein gutes persönliches Verhältnis zu Kim. 'Wir mochten uns vom ersten Tag an', sagte Trump. 'Es ist eine Ehre hier zu sein.' Trump zeige seine Bereitschaft, an einer neuen Zukunft zu arbeiten, sagte Kim. Zudem sprach Trump eine Einladung an Nordkoreas Machthaber aus. Er wolle ihn 'jetzt gleich ins Weiße Haus einladen', sagte Trump zu Kim."

Mehr lesen vom 18.06.2019

"Exclusive: President Trump Calls Alleged Iranian Attack on Oil Tankers 'Very Minor'"

US-Präsident Trump hat den Angriff auf zwei Öltanker im Golf von Oman in einem Gespräch mit dem TIME-Magazin als "geringfügigen" Vorfall eingeschätzt. "Facing twin challenges in the Persian Gulf, President Donald Trump said in an interview with TIME Monday that he might take military action to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but cast doubt on going to war to protect international oil supplies. 'I would certainly go over nuclear weapons,' the president said when asked what moves would lead him to consider going to war with Iran, 'and I would keep the other a question mark.' (...) Last week, U.S. officials blamed Iran for attacks against Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Trump described those and other recent attacks attributed by administration officials to Iran as limited. 'So far, it’s been very minor,' Trump told TIME."

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The Atlantic vom 17.06.2019

"Iran Has Options and It’s Starting to Use Them"

Kathy Gilsinan betrachtet den Vorfall im Golf von Oman als Beleg des Scheiterns der US-Kampagne des "maximalen Drucks" gegen den Iran. Teheran sei keineswegs eingeschüchtert, sondern offenbar entschlossen, seine bestehenden Möglichkeiten für gezielte Gegenschläge zu nutzen. "Trump has claimed he seeks not regime change from Iran, but behavior change, Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, wrote to me in an email. 'Tehran, however, does not distinguish between economic and military warfare, since both will most likely result in collapse of the regime. This is why they try to disrupt the flow of oil to the global markets, hoping president Trump, who generally appears to be disinclined to entangle the United States in wars in the Middle East, realizes the cost of his ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against Tehran and changes his approach.' If this is in fact Iran’s intent, it has many capabilities at its disposal, according to a 2017 report from the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, the most recent made public."

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NBC News vom 17.06.2019

"U.S. sending 1,000 troops to Middle East amid heightened tension with Iran"

Das Pentagon will aufgrund der aktuellen Spannungen mit dem Iran 1.000 zusätzliche Truppen in den Nahen Osten schicken. "Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (...) said that the increased forces were in response to a request from U.S. Central Command for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats in the Middle East. U.S authorities accused Iran of attacks on two tankers last week, though the country's foreign minister has denied the accusations. 'The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,' Shanahan said. 'The U.S. does not seek conflict with Iran.'"

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BBC vom 17.06.2019

"Iran nuclear deal: Enriched uranium limit will be breached on 27 June"

Der Iran hat angekündigt, ab dem 27. Juni die im Atomabkommen vereinbarte Menge an angereichertem Uran zu überschreiten. Die europäischen Länder könnten darauf mit der Wiedereinsetzung ihrer Sanktionen reagieren, so die BBC. "Its atomic energy agency said Iran had quadrupled its production of the material, which is used to make reactor fuel and potentially nuclear weapons. But it added there was 'still time' for European countries to act by protecting Iran from reinstated US sanctions. The UK, France and Germany have warned Iran not to violate the deal. They have said they will have no choice but to reimpose their own sanctions, which were lifted in return for limits on the Iranian nuclear programme. Iran has complained that they have failed to abide by their commitments to mitigate the effects of the US sanctions that took effect after President Donald Trump abandoned the deal last year."

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CNN vom 16.06.2019

"Pompeo on Iran: US considering range of options including military"

US-Außenminister Pompeo hat am Sonntag bekräftigt, dass die US-Regierung militärische Optionen in der aktuellen Iran-Krise nicht ausschließe. "'The United States is considering a full range of options. We have briefed the President a couple of times, we'll continue to keep him updated. We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence which is our mission set,' Pompeo said in an interview on CBS 'Face the Nation.' When asked if a military response was included in that set of actions, Pompeo responded, 'Of course.'"

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Al Jazeera English vom 16.06.2019

"Is Iran to blame for suspected attacks on Gulf tankers?"

Ist der Iran für die Angriffe auf die beiden Öl-Tanker im Golf von Oman verantwortlich? Maysam Behravesh hat Expertenmeinungen zu diesem Vorwurf der USA zusammengetragen. "Analysts reacted to the US allegations with scepticism. Even those who found the claims credible said Washington may have forced Iran's hand with its 'maximum pressure' campaign of punishing financial sanctions. 'Tehran has the capability to commit such attacks and has threatened to interfere with shipping in the Gulf while it is also in a state of desperation due to the tight sanctions and international isolation,' said Max Abrahms, professor of political science at Northeastern University in the US. (...) Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, said if Iran was responsible for Thursday's attacks, it was carrying out its repeated threats that other countries in the region would also 'face obstacles' in exporting oil. (...) But with Iran still appealing to the remaining signatories to deliver on its promised economic benefits, Abrahms said it was not in Tehran's interests to disrupt trade in the Gulf. 'The question arises as to why Tehran would commit such an attack because it only harms Iran on the world stage and helps its enemies, while scepticism is also warranted due to the unreliability of [US] intelligence,' he said, referring to the faulty intelligence Washington used to justify its invasion of Iraq in 2003."

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Newsweek vom 15.06.2019

"Intelligence Experts Question Iran Video: 'U.S. Track Record on Ginning up Evidence for War is Not Good'"

Die von der US-Regierung präsentierten angeblichen Beweise für die iranische Verwicklung in die Angriffe auf zwei Öltanker im Golf von Oman werden von einigen unabhängigen Experten skeptisch beurteilt. "(...) independent intelligence experts say the video provides no proof whatsoever of Iran's alleged responsibility for the attacks, a charge Iran denies. That's not to say Iran did not carry out the attacks, these experts hasten to add (...). But amid the rising tensions in the Middle East, these experts say, there are numerous other players in the region with compelling motivations to carry out such attacks. (...) Others have pointed to the possibility that Thursday's attacks, as well as the attacks on four tankers in the same waters a month ago, were so-called 'false-flag' operations carried out by Israel, another arch foe of Iran, to make Iran appear responsible. And some observers have even suggested the attacks may have been directed by hawkish members of the Trump administration as a pretext to launch military operations against Iran. 'The U.S. track record on ginning up evidence for war is not good,' William Church, a former military investigator for the United Nations Security Council. 'It lied in the run-up to the Vietnam war [by inventing a North Vietnamese attack on a U.S. Navy ship in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964], and it lied about WMD [weapons of mass destruction] before the Iraq war. So when these tanker attacks happen, we have to ask why and what's the motivation in addition to examining the evidence.'"

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The American Conservative vom 15.06.2019

"Of Course Iran Hawks Want War with Iran"

Die "Iran-Falken" in Washington wollen den Vorfall im Golf von Oman Daniel Larison zufolge nutzen, um endlich die von ihnen ersehnte offene Konfrontation zwischen beiden Ländern herbeizuführen. Nach Ansicht des neokonservativen Kolumnisten Bret Stephens sollte die US-Regierung dem Iran offen mit der Versenkung seiner Schiffe drohen. "Calling for the U.S. to threaten sinking the Iranian navy is to demand that our government threaten massive escalation and the initiation of a major war over relatively minor incidents. It is also calling for putting thousands of U.S. sailors in grave danger. The U.S. Navy presumably would prevail in any fight, it would come at a much higher cost than most Americans expect. Harry Kazianis wrote an article for TAC about the wargame he participated in that simulated a war with Iran in the Persian Gulf, and the results were very ugly (...). Advocates of attacking Iran have often exaggerated the ease and speed of military action against Iran, and they fail to take seriously how costly and destructive such a conflict would be. Not only is Stephens’ proposal an absurd overreaction, but it also confirms that many Iran hawks certainly do want to have a war with Iran and have been trying to create the conditions for one for a long time."

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New York Times vom 15.06.2019

"In Face-Off With Iran, Escalation May Depend on Who Prevails Inside Washington and Tehran"

Ob der Streit über die Angriffe auf zwei Schiffe im Golf von Oman zu einem Krieg der USA gegen den Iran führen könnte, wird nach Ansicht von David E. Sanger und David D. Kirkpatrick auch davon abhängen, ob sich die Hardliner in beiden Lagern durchsetzen. "In Iran, tension with the United States bolsters the appeal of hard-line politicians aligned with the Revolutionary Guards in next year’s parliamentary elections. In Washington, it strengthens the hand of hawks in the administration who may be trying to urge Mr. Trump toward more forceful action while weakening the claims of his critics — including most Democrats — who argue that President Barack Obama’s outreach to Tehran had been working. (...) The question now is whether escalation prevails, or whether the instinct to back away from direct confrontation — by Mr. Trump and those in Iran who see some kind of accommodation with the West as the only way out of the country’s isolation — kicks in. It is hardly guaranteed, but it has happened before."

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