Once again I proffer a solution to the Iranian impasse, deny Iran refinement of their crude oil into petrol by blockading their ships from foreign ports.
More things than dreamt of in our philosophy: Oil valve tightens on Iran-Syria axis
A lot of dimensions to the campaign against Iran’s regional aggression aren’t making it into the mainstream Western news. That may well be a good thing, and it may be a good thing that this article itself will probably miss events and influences. Highlighting developments that could be polarized around to Iran’s advantage isn’t necessarily a useful service.
But after the UK’s Royal Marines seized a Panama-flagged, Dubai-owned super tanker last week off Gibraltar, which was carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil bound for Syria, a couple of questions nagged at me. Pulling the string on them put a bigger picture in perspective.
It’s worth laying out because the answers indicate the decisive, even politically kinetic effect sanctions are starting to have. And the effect goes beyond squeezing Iran’s bank account.
The questions for me were, first, why Iran had put so much oil in one shipment, which increased the single-incident loss if the ship didn’t make it through to Syria; and second, why Iran reacted so noisily, immediately acknowledging the cargo as Iranian (when care had been taken to load it somewhat covertly, on a ship without overt Iranian ownership or management), and issuing threats against the UK rather than trying quieter diplomacy through the EU.