On Tuesday, February 2, Iranian diplomacy spokesman Said Khatibzadeh said the crew of the South Korean ship, seized a month ago in the Persian Gulf by the Iranian Coast Guard, was allowed to leave Iran as a pure gesture of good faith and respect for humanitarian principles.
It is well remembered that the seizure came at the bot of months of South Korea’s refusal to release Iranian petrodollars, which it froze in its banks on the orders of the United States, even if it meant prolonging a political and diplomatic crisis in Tehran-Seoul, which, given the strong presence of South Koreans on the vast Iranian market, has no reason to exist.
Some observers thought they saw between this gesture of Iranian goodwill on the one hand and the seizure two weeks ago of two Iranian and Chinese oil tankers off the coast of Indonesia on the other, a certain report, believing that Iran was pushed by the more or less unexpected gesture of Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, with which it maintains a relationship of complicity illustrated even by the Indonesian support for Iran in the Security Council, to be thrown down, as Iran is unable to retaliate. And yet, it is a bit hasty to go to work.
Since May 2020, when Iranian tankers delivered gasoline to Venezuela under the helpless eyes of the US Navy, a US anti-sanction maritime corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Caribbean has been open. Even African countries such as Senegal and Gabon have joined this corridor, to the dismay of the US sanctions regime, which has become sterile and obsolete. It is a corridor that China has happily joined, by continuing to buy oil from the major oil producers, China and Venezuela, even under the strongest of sanctions. Biden tried to break this anti-sanctions partnership, which Trump and his war ministers were unable to break, but Biden did. The seizure of two oil tankers flying under the Iranian and Chinese flags by Indonesia and only a few kilometers from the China Sea, where the Americans continue to seek noise to China, was the response of the Democratic President.
By the way, the two cargo ships were taken hostage in the Strait of Malacca, the main economic lung of China, which along with the other two straits that are Bab el-Mandeb and Hormuz are the main shipping lanes on the energy highways. A bit like the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, which Great Britain boarded in 2019 with the reinforcement of commando forces in Gibraltar before this act of sea piracy was retaliated by the boarding and seizure in the Persian Gulf a few weeks later of a British oil tanker Steno Impero. One remembers very well how His Majesty was forced to surrender and release Grace 1 and its cargo in exchange for the release of the Steno Impero.
During the seizure of Grace 1 by Britain in Gilbratar, John Bolton announced that: “The United States and its allies will continue to prevent the regimes in Tehran and Damascus from profiting from this illegal trade. But a year later the United States almost regretted these words, as the Persian Gulf – Caribbean energy corridor allowed Iran to make a breakthrough into the American back yard by making its appearance on Venezuela’s political, oil and military landscape.
But this belated Biden retaliation involving Indonesia, with which both Iran and China have good relations, how should it be responded to? This coup de force that has just occurred in Burma and which literally takes the United States and its NATO allies by surprise seems to have brought the first elements of the response. Myanmar, whose control has just fallen into the hands of the military by a coup d’état that immediately pushed aside Ann Sun Suychi, a long time American pawn, is of vital geostrategic importance for China and obviously for its allies.
Malacca is located between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is the shortest sea route between China and the Persian Gulf. Since the year 2000, the United States has not stopped sowing war and chaos in the Persian Gulf to prevent the Dog from feeding there. The War in Syria has paradoxically led to the emergence of the axis of the Resistance as a geopolitical actor, an axis that first brought Russia into the scene and is working to ensure that China also landed in the region. This configuration of force could not tolerate Myanmar being a second Hong Kong or a new Taiwan, especially since Washington de Biden crossed the Rubicon in seeking to cut the energy route between Iran and China,
80% of China’s oil and gas exports, i.e. 12 million barrels per day, are made via Malacca and mostly in tanker-by-tanker mode. The double seizure of Iranian and Chinese tankers could have set a precedent. And then in Malacca we are at the heart of the Silk Road, Beijing could not have allowed the followers of the saffron revolution, reinforced by the arrival of the Democrats in the White House, to sow chaos at the heart of one of the most major projects of the beginning of the century to put an end to US/NATO unilateralism.
But the coup d’état in Myanmar could go even further in geostrategic terms because, if we look closely, the axis of the Resistance imposes itself in two of the three most strategic places in the world, namely the Straits of Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb, where no Western or Israeli cargo ship could cross if the Yemeni Resistance opposes it. The change of course in Myanmar, makes the situation in the Indo-Pacific region more or less the same. For the time being, the US/NATO camp is groggy from the blow and is looking for a solution: yesterday evening the United States announced the withdrawal of the USS Nimitz from the Centcom and its joining the Indo-Pacific fleet. The most recent Iranian military exercise Great Prophet 15 held between December and January brought one of these fears to the U.S. naval aviation group when an Iranian long-range ballistic missile Sejjil failed a few blocks from the USS Nimitz in the Indian Ocean. But at the pace of events in the China Sea, where China has just simulated massive strikes against the U.S. war fleet, there is no guarantee that the USS Nimitz and its 5,000 marines will have a better time in the Indo-Pacific than in the Persian Gulf. Some analysts even say that this is one of the clauses included in the 25-year strategic agreement signed between Iran and China. It’s full of lessons for a Biden who believes he can make the Obama by promising Iran PGAGian mountains and wonders …
by Basit Abbasi – CCTV