Yesterday Britain seized an Iranian oil tanker on its way to the Mediterranean through Gibraltar, that was bound for the Syrian people on the grounds that it violates EU sanctions, which are designed to cripple Syria economically.
The government of Gibraltar said on Thursday it had “reasonable grounds” to believe the vessel, which was seized to the east of the British overseas territory, was carrying crude oil to the Banyas refinery in Syria.
Iranian state TV said that the British ambassador in Tehran had been summoned over the “illegal seizure” of the tanker carrying Iranian oil.
So the war on Syria started with the so-called Arab spring fashion, then a media campaign has been launched to trigger a proxy war, later the ant-Syria camp exported tens of thousands of foreign terrorists to kneel the government of Damascus, and when they failed, the US and EU have decided to deprive the Syrian people of the basic needs, and by doing so they think the popular base of the Syrian government will rise against Assad because he is not able to secure all the basic needs.
This is a very dirty game and economic terrorism. But who cares right? The Syrian people should be punished because they didn’t abandon their president.
Some of you may ask, why Syria is buying oil from Iran? Syria has oil. Well, because almost half of Syria’s oil and energy sources are occupied by the US and its proxy forces in the eastern shores of the Euphrates. It is true that the Kurdish militias are selling oil to the Syrian government but in small quantities.
Some may also ask, why Iran is sending tankers from the Persian Gulf to Cape of Good Hope, to Gibraltar and finally to Syria and not simply through Iraq or the Suez Canal?
There are different answers to this question:
– Through Iraq: While some analysts claim that the road between Iran – Iraq – Syria is not safe yet and ISIS has sleeping cells on the way, others say the US bases in Iraq and Syria will stop the shipments. In the same context, some also argue that Iran cannot send 300 thousand tonnes of oil to Syria through road tankers.
– Then why not through the Suez Canal? There is also two analysis: 1- Egypt is following the US and EU sanction regimes against Syria or 2- since the Iranian Tanker Grace 1 carries 300 thousand tonnes of oil, the maximum load that can pass the Suez Canal is 160 thousand tonnes.
Whatever is the true answer, there is one indisputable truth: While ISIS was stealing the Syrian oil between 2013 and 2015 and selling it to Turkey and later to Europe and Israel, the so-called US-led coalition, including the UK against Daesh wasn’t interested in stopping the theft of Syria’s oil.
But the UK is now stopping oil tankers delivering energy to the Syrian people.
This is pure piracy. This is economic terrorism.
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Kevork Almassian is an award-winning political commentator from Syria. He is the founder of Syriana Analysis and is known for his contribution to the literature on the Syrian war.