Friday, February 03, 2012

Q&A: Recent Tensions with Iran

Question: On January 15th 2012 Mohammed Ali Khateebi, Iran's envoy to OPEC warned the Gulf states against compensating for Iran's oil by supplying additional crude oil to international markets in case sanctions are imposed on Iran by the European Union. The Iranian Sharq newspaper also reported that Khateebi warned that such compensatory supplies will evoke Iran's reaction which will be unpredictable.

Similarly the spokesman for Iran's ministry of petroleum, Ramin Mehmanparast reiterated his remarks reported by Iran's official news agency confirming that the United States had sent a letter to Iran about the Straits of Hormuz. In late December 2011, Iran had warned of closing the Hormuz waterway in reaction to international sanctions. Iran had also announced holding naval exercises in the region. It also said that it had carried out successful tests on missiles of various types and ranges.

So, is Iran serious about closing the Straits of Hormuz? Is it genuinely worried about a military strike, if so who will wage war against it? Does the current global situation allow for such a war?

Answer:

1: Mohammed Ridha Rahimi, the Iranian Vice-President warned of shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, he said: "If sanctions are decided against Iran, not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz." Gen. Hussain Salami, the Lt. Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard threatened that Iran will act to protect its vital interests. Iran conducted naval exercises on 31st December 2011 in the region to demonstrate its preparedness for war if sanctions were imposed upon her. Iran's chief of naval forces, Admiral Habibullah Sayyari meanwhile eased the tone of threats and said: "Closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran's armed forces is really easy, or as Iranians say, it will be easier than drinking a glass of water, however, at the moment we do not need to close it down." Thus he indicated that Iran will not move to close the strait at present if the sanctions are not imposed on it and if it is not attacked.

2: Reports indicate that between 30% - 40% of global crude oil passes through the straits of Hormuz, around 20 to 30 oil tankers pass through it every day carrying around 19 million barrels of crude oil. Thus the Hormuz straits are strategically important and have been so throughout history. Rival European colonialists competed over the strait. The British Empire regarded the Hormuz straits as the main route to India which it considered its jewel of the crown. England had imposed its control over the strait of Hormuz when Iran and the other Gulf states were under its area of influence. During the 1970's when US influence replaced Britain in the region the US integrated the region as part of its national security and stationed its fifth fleet command in Bahrain under the cover of a joint agreement in 1993. US ships regularly sail thorugh the waterway and thus it will not be easy for Iran to close the strait, except with tacit American complicity, which would be posisble agianst the Europeans. During its war with Saddam Hussain of Iraq, Iran had warned of closing the straits but did not act on its threat. Similarly now, after all the warnings, its naval commander has toned down the threats.

3: In the face of Iranian threats, Victoria Noland, the US State Department spokeswoman stated: "We have seen of late a great deal of unreasonable behaviour from Iran which makes us beleive that "these threats from Tehran as just increasing evidence that the international pressure is beginning to bite there..." [al Arabiyah: 30.12.2011]. Thus the US wants to prove that the sanctions already in place on Iran are sufficient to rein in the Jews from acting on their threat of military action against Iran. The US has over the past several years restrained the Jewish entity from initiating any attack on Iran. The US has more than once stated that the sanctions imposed on Iran are enough to deter Iran on its nuclear program. The US State Dept. Spokeswoman said: "these threats from Tehran as just increasing evidence that the international pressure is beginning to bite there." The US Defense Secreatary Leon Panetta has been stating for months that sanctions are sufficient to deter Iran from developing its nuclear program and that sanctions are the only option. In its attempt to ensure matters do not spiral out of US control , the US asked the Jewish entity to desist from carrying out any attack against Iran without coordinating with it.

4: It appaears that the US has of late realised the Jewish entity was seriously considering carrying out a military attack on Iran's nuclear installations and that Britain was actively supporting the Jewish entity to carry out such an attack and this has prompted the US to move swiftly to intensify sanctions on Iran including prohibiting dealings with the Iranian Central Bank which was announced on the 13th january 2012. A US official confirmed that the new US restrictions were imposed on Iran in order to force her to abandon its nuclear program by paralysing the functioning of its Central Bank and making its dealings with other international banks difficult. Thus the United States is trying to demonstrate that the solution lies in sanctions and intenfying those sanctions, and thus preventing the Jewish entity from undertaking a military attack on Iran as well as preventing the Europeans, especially Britain from playing any role in the matter.

5: There are indications that Europe is keen for such an attack and is not only encouraging the Jewish entity to undertake such action but actively supporting it with whatever is necessary. France has launched a satellite over the region in order to spy over Iran and share the gathered intelligence and images of Iran's nuclear installations and facilities with the Jewish entity. Germany has supplied the Jewish entity with the latest submarines capable of which carrying missiles, similarly Britain continues to also play its part through militarily cooperation. Britain's defence Secretary Phillip Hammond warned Iran against any attempts to close the Strait of Hormuz. The British media has also contributed to building public opinion by ratching up anti-Iran rhetoric. The Guardian newspaper reported on 3rd November 2011 that "Britain's armed forces are stepping up their contingency planning for potential military action against Iran amid mounting concern about Tehran's nuclear enrichment program". The British have intensified their consultations with the Jewish entity in recent months, the American news agency UPA on November 2nd 2011 reported that: "The Britain's Chief of Staff Gen. David Richards paid a secret 3-day visit to Israel, while the Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak visited Britain on the evening of 2nd November, 2011 at a time when Israel's military attack on Iran was being discussed intensively". In the context of a report posted on its website on 10th Nov, 2011, the British newspaper 'Daily Mail' said that officials of the British government have emphasised that there is a consensus within the government that Israel will attempt to target Iranian nuclear installation sooner rather than later. The Israeli media reported in early November 2011 that the Zionist Air force carried out an aerial exercise at one of the NATO's bases in Italy which included all possible types of air force formations which possibly may participate in an attack.

6: Israeli threats on Iran's nuclear installations have mounted during January 2012, the American newspaper – the Wall Street Journal reported on 14th January, 2012 that Washington was worried about a possible Israeli military attack against Iranian nuclear installations and this has prompted US officials' to intensify messages expressing their disapproval and warning the Israeli officials about the consequences of such an attack. The WSJ said that the American President Barak Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and other senior US officials have of late sent a series of secret messages to the Israeli leadership warning them of the dire repercussions of a possible attack. They also informed them about the US position which is in favour of giving more time to the sanctions imposed on Tehran so that they bear fruit.

7: The United States is focused on the sanctions regime which it believes will prove an effective deterrent instead of a military strike. The US has been positioning that such action will not yield the desired results, especially with 2012 being election year. At the same time the Jewish state and the Europeans want to exploit this election year to carry out military strikes on Iran when the US administration led by Barak Obama is preoccupied with winning a second term in office and is engaged in wooing the votes of Jews and others minorities in a number of important swing states. Hence when such an attack in launched, the US will be in an awkward position and will be forced to support it if launched during the election period. Thus the US will be in position of flux in the region which will provide an opportunity to the European powers through intervening in the Middle East, especially England, the old colonialist of the region to play an effective role in the Gulf. Thus they work to shake the American stronghold in the region and destabilise the situation within Iran. So they are preparing to acquire some sort of influence in Iran which they lost as a result of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 when their agent Raza Shah Pehlawi fell from power.

8: Thus the American policy is focused on the sanctions regime being able to bear fruit and it keeps on intensifying these sanctions every time the cries for war get louder, which the Jewish state, backed by the Europeans are attempting to push during the US election year. It is possible the opportunity to launch an attack on Iran has been missed. Such information was leaked near the end of 2011 regarding the timing of such an attack. al.mashhad.com on the10th November 2011, reported: "An unidentified British Foreign Office official revealed that he informed the British ministers that the Israeli attack may occur between Christmas eve – January 1st 2012." That however does not rule out fresh attempts by Europe and the Jewish entity to attempt again to launch an attack due to the US preoccupation with national elections. It is expected that the United States will not allow them to exploit this opportunity and will remain in control of the matter. Thus every time the Europeans appear to support the Jewish entity to carry out a military attack against Iran, during its election year, they embarrass Obama in front of the Jewish voters. Obama responds by intensifying the call for sanctions indicating to the Jews that this is the correct solution and not a military attack on Iran! Thus Obama indicates to them that he is working in their interests by intensifying the sanctions in order to gain their votes.

9: As for Iran's statement that they will have to bear the responsibility of compensating the shortfall in crude supplies as a result of sanctions against Iranian oil exports, Iran is issuing such statements threatening to close the straits of Hormuz in order to halt a crisis in the international oil markets which will result in higher crude prices and thus affect Europe, especially when it is already reeling under an economic crisis. This it hopes will stop the Jewish entity in taking any military action against it.

10: As for Obama's letter to the Iranian officials the contents of which though are not revealed, it is likely to be a 'warning' to Iran and demanding it to soften the tone of its threats to close the straits of Hormuz and possibly to ease the tone of warning to the Gulf States regarding them bearing the consequences of compensating the shortfall in oil supplies. This is intended to reduce the tension that provokes the Jewish state and the Europeans to exploit it for taking military action against Iran in an election year. There are now indications that the US and Iran have taken steps designed to ease tensions. Iran has agreed to host a delegation of United Nations nuclear inspectors whilst the US has twice this month rescued Iranian sailors in the region's seas. [The Wall Street Journal, 14.01.2012].

11: It hurts to see that the regions lands, seas and the Straits of Hormuz part of America's global struggle. The Gulf which is referred to as the Arabian or Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman similarly is Islamic, and the Hormuz Straits is Islamic, the Muslims have defended and protected these in the face of European attacks whether they were from Portugal, Holland, France or Britain. Today the US has landed in the region and is working to control the region and steal its wealth.

Even more worrying is the fact that this international conflict has a set of Muslim rulers in order to achieve US goals. Yet Allah Willing, all this will not last very long and the Ummah as well as the people in Gulf will rise and will become One Ummah under a single State, the State of the Guided Khilafah which will cut the hands of these countries and prevent them from extending to any part of the Muslim lands, and be reminded that this tomorrow is not far!

In Conclusion:

1: Europe, especially Britain and the Jewish entity want to capitalise on Obama's election year in the United States to launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear installations since during an election year, such an attack will embarrass Obama in the face of Jewish voters if he seeks to stop the attack.

2: Iran is important for Obama and he does not want military action against it except if Iran was to cross America's red line of the Straits of Hormuz as stated by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on 8the January, 2012. At the same time, the Jewish entity is also important for Obama who does not want to lose Jewish votes in swing states. This is why he is trying to demonstrate that the sanctions are the appropriate option to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, a matter that concerns the Jewish state, and also shows them that a military strike will not help but contrarily harm the entire region and thus affect US and global interests.
Therefore, whenever a military strike appears imminent, Obama sets about tightening the sanctions regime and now he has even included the Iranian Central Bank, stressing that the sanctions and not a military strike is the effective weapon against Iran's nuclear efforts. Such a situation of give-and-take is expected to last at least through the US election year. Europe and the Jewish entity will focus on exploiting this opportunity to carry out a military strike on Iran's nuclear installations, while the United States will focus on demonstrating that intensifying the sanctions is the viable solution.

3: As for Obama's letter to Iran, though its contents are not public, however it is likely to be a 'warning' to Iran and demanding it to soften the tone of its threats and statements to close the straits of Hormuz as well easing the tone of warnings to the Gulf states, as a move to remove any justification for military strike.

4: It is painful to see that the Western nations fight over our Islamic lands and are able to find their agents in the region who walk the path with them, instead of these lands being our State. The Khilafah State which will cut any hand that seeks to reach our pure Islamic lands. However, this betrayal will last long and neither this dark phase will last, indeed Allah Willing, Islam will emerge and so will the Khilafah.

وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُ بَعْدَ حِينٍ
"And you shall certainly know the truth of it after a while." [Saad:88]

22nd Safar, 1433 A.H
16th January, 2012 C.E

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