Senin, 19 Maret 2012

War watch - Syria and Iran..... Note the insurance issue pertaining to iranian crude !

Assad to Anan: Syrian missiles will pre-empt any military intervention
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2012, 10:53 PM (GMT+02:00)

Talking about war

The Middle East has unknowingly been living for ten days under threat of a regional war, which DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose was delivered by Syrian president Bashar Assad to UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan when they first met Saturday, March 10. Assad warned him in no uncertain terms that Syria was ready to unleash its missiles against any country preparing for military intervention in Syria before they moved.
While not mentioning them by name, the Syrian ruler was referring to Britain, France, Norway, Holland and Italy whose navies and air forces were last week drawn up ready for action in positions in the eastern Mediterranean and bases in the Middle East, including the Royal Air Force Akrotiri facility in Cyprus.
A Western military source reported to DEBKAfile Monday night, March 19 that those European forces were standing ready to cordon off certain Syrian regions and cities as “security zones” off limits to Syrian units including its air force.
Cruising opposite the Syrian coast are the USS Enterprise and the French Charles de Gaulle, both aircraft carriers. They are part of the combat disposition the West has arrayed against Iran and from their Mediterranean posts would take part in a military confrontation erupting in the Persian Gulf.
In his conversation with Annan,Turkey was the only foe Assad named specifically as his first target for a pre-emptive missile assault. He stressed he would have no qualms about attacking Turkey.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyep Erdogan is due to set out next week on a visit to Seoul where he will rendezvous with US President Barack Obama, possibly on March 28,  for policy alignment on the Iranian nuclear threat and the year-old Syrian crisis. Our Washington sources report that Obama has set aside six hours for his conversation with Erdogan.
From the South Korean capital, the Turkish leader is scheduled to fly straight to Tehran. The primary Middle East issues, a nuclear Iran and the Syrian impasse. are therefore destined to reach a critical point in the coming days.
This may partly explain the announcement from, Russian Black Sea headquarters at Sevastopol Monday that two Russian naval vessels had put into the Syrian port of Tartus. The vessels’ mission and names were not disclosed, excepting that one carried a unit of “anti-terrorist marines” and the other was a military tanker which joined a Russian naval reconnaissance and surveillance ship already tied up in Tartus.

and when they actually cut off oil to Greece , Spain and Italy , I will take the Iranian talk seriously......

SWIFT reaction: Iran 'will retaliate', closing Hormuz Strait

Published: 19 March, 2012, 15:56
Edited: 19 March, 2012, 22:49
Iranian naval ships take part in a naval parade on the last day of the Velayat-90 war game in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. (Reuters / Jamejamonline / Ebrahim Norouzi)
Iranian naval ships take part in a naval parade on the last day of the Velayat-90 war game in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. (Reuters / Jamejamonline / Ebrahim Norouzi)
TAGS: PoliticsIran

Tehran’s threats to block the Strait of Hormuz in response to sanctions are not mere words, warned Iran’s senior spokesman on sanctions. As long as the West ignores international law to promote its interests, Iran will retaliate, he said.
Closing the strait would be a response equal to the West’s unlawful severing of Iran from global commerce, believes Iran’s senior spokesman on Western sanctions and former intelligence minister Ali Falahian.
“I suggest that the West take seriously our threat to close the Strait of Hormuz,” he said on Sunday, as cited by the Israeli-based news website DEBKAfile.
It is not the first time Iran has threatened to cut the world off from sources of oil in the Persian Gulf, though this time Iran might not be bluffing. According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, Iran has sufficient military resources to block the strategic strait as well as paths to the region’s oil export terminals. Some 17 per cent of the world’s oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and Iran is believed to be capable of mining the whole waterway within a relatively short amount of time.
Some regional players believe at this point a military confrontation in the Gulf is almost inevitable.
"We can see that the threat of an unfortunate flash of military confrontation is more possible rather than it is remote,"said Oman’s foreign affairs minister, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, as cited by Reuters.
With a massive international fleet already deployed in the region, the West seems ready to react and reopen the crucial waterway. At the moment, three US and one French nuclear aircraft carrier are present just outside Iranian waters.  In addition to this, the West has several dozen minesweepers and mine hunting helicopters on patrol in the region.  
Iran’s harsh reaction comes after the country was cut off from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). On Saturday, scores of Iranian banks were blocked from doing international business, after SWIFT fell in line with the EU sanctions targeting Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
Meanwhile, Iran seems to be getting tired of Western criticism of its nuclear research, which it had always said is for purely civilian purposes. Iran has refused to make concessions, and the international community must accept the country’s nuclear program or incur “heavy losses,” senior lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said, as cited by the Jerusalem Post.
Foes of Iran, represented by certain ‘interest groups,’ are now forcing the country into a corner – despite CIA and Israeli intelligence insisting that Iran is not developing nukes. That is according to political analyst and historian Peter Rushton, who spoke to RT. 
“I think what we are seeing at the moment has been the culmination of a long-term effort by Iran’s enemies to force the Iranian government into a corner, to force them into a position where they are left with an invidious choice between having to steer a course between on the one hand seeming to be bullied and giving in and appearing weak, and on the other hand allowing themselves to be provoked and allowing themselves to be forced into a confrontational position,” Rushton said. 
A recent anonymous announcement by American and Israeli intelligence officials saying that Iran is not gearing towards nuclear weapons was made in order to prevent certain ‘interest groups’ from abusing spy work for the sake of a political agenda, Rushton added.   
“There is political-ideological agenda in Washington and Tel Aviv, to an extent in London as well, to willfully misinterpret intelligence, to spin intelligence in a direction that forces people on the path to war,” he said. “We saw it in Iraq where there were absolutely disastrous consequences from the intelligence process being abused and I think we are seeing it now here in Iran.”


BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) - European Union diplomats on Tuesday postponed a decision on whether to grant any exemptions to insurance provided for Iranian crude shipments when the bloc implements oil sanctions on Iran, an EU diplomat said.
Asian oil importers have lobbied European governments for exceptions to ensure oil deliveries, but some EU capitals are wary of weakening the impact of EU measures on Iran, which aim to press the Tehran government to hold back on its nuclear work.
On Tuesday, representatives in Brussels of EU governments debated a proposal to allow all insurance on Iranian crude bound for countries outside the EU to be extended until July 1. But there was no agreement.
"For the moment there is no deal," an EU diplomat with close knowledge of the talks said. "Discussions will continue tomorrow."
EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Friday.
The EU agreed an oil embargo in January to stop members from importing Iranian oil, but set up a transition period that allows EU states to continue bringing in oil under existing contracts until July. The embargo also specified a ban on EU insurers and reinsurers from indemnifying vessels carrying Iranian crude and fuel anywhere in the world.

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