…And right in the middle of the U.S. Senate fight over his surrender of nuclear technology to Iran?
That would be both a Democratic political nightmare and a Republican political gift from heaven, and it seems to have just happened.
See the following hotlink to an Ed Morrissey piece at the Hot Air newsblog on why that is–
Breaking: Al-Arabiya reports Iranian forces seize US cargo ship, Pentagon confirms; Update: Marshall Islands-flagged ship; Update: DOD: Ship was in Iranian waters
I wonder if Pres. Obama will treat Marshall Islands regards this Iranian aggression the way he has treated Ukraine to Russia’s Crimean and Donbas aggressions.
Looks like someone in Tehran made a quick decision about which they wanted more, nukes or immediate humiliation of America —
#Iran has released Marshall Islands-flagged Maersk Tigris cargo ship according to al-Jazeera
10 thoughts on “President Obama’s Iranian Hostage Crisis?”
Looks like the Guard may have gone off the reservation.
As Mayaguez Incidents go, that was quick.
This is just the first of many incidents, especially if they get a real foothold in Yemen.
The cowards and Islamists in the current regime aren’t going to do much of anything, regardless of the provocation by Iran or anyone else. This is just the first test to see if there’s any significant, meaningful response.
The incidents will only escalate from here.
Maersk (owner of the ship) says that the vessel and crew are now in Bandar Abbas (Iran) as reported at Gcaptain, a shipping info site (interesting site, particularly the stuff the new Panama Canal work… but I digress).
Iranian news reports (via ASIANEWS):”Iranian media cited an official as saying the seizure followed a court order ruling on a complaint about debts made by a private Iranian company.”
Which would seem to make the Maersk Tigris either (1) a blockade runner, (2) carrying cargo exempt from the embargo, or (3)bought bunker fuel from an Iranian tanker/lighter at sea.
Or something. They could be engaged in moving Iranian cargo from one Iranian port to another. Wouldn’t think you’d need a container ship for that, though.
Compact of Free Association Agreement between the United States of America and the Marshall Islands
SECURITY AND DEFENSE RELATIONS
Authority and Responsibility
(a) The Government of the United States has full authority and responsibility for security and defense matters in or relating to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
(b) This authority and responsibility includes:
(1) the obligation to defend the Republic of the Marshall Islands and its people from attack or threats thereof as the United States and its citizens are defended;
(2) the option to foreclose access to or use of the Republic of the Marshall Islands by military personnel or for the military purposes of any third country; and
(3) the option to establish and use military areas and facilities in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, subject to the separate agreements referred to in sections 321 and 232.
(c ) The Government of the United States confirms that it shall act in accordance with the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations in the exercise of this authority and responsibility.
Item 1: The ship is not Marshall Island owned. It is Marshall Island flagged. Big difference. (The majority of US owned ships are Liberian, Bermuda or Panamanian flagged. It’s a tax thing.)
Item 2: Maersk doesn’t even own the ship. It leases it from private investors, with third party management.
Item 3: Not an single American on board. Romanian captain, one Brit crewman, mostly eastern European crew with some Asians.
Latest news:”quoted a Pars Talaie lawyer as saying the debt involved a cargo that Pars Talaie hired Maersk to take from the Iranian port of Abadan to Dubai more than a decade ago but which had never arrived”
It’s highly probable that none of the crew have a clue about the particulars. (After ten years on a commercial ship, you’d count more as a slave than crew.)
“Latest news:”quoted a Pars Talaie lawyer as saying the debt involved a cargo that Pars Talaie hired Maersk to take from the Iranian port of Abadan to Dubai more than a decade ago but which had never arrived””
This is also part of that latest news:
Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization said a court had ordered the ship seized after ruling against Maersk Line in a case about debts brought by Pars Talaie, an Iranian company.
Zarif told the audience on Wednesday Maersk was required to pay damages on the basis of a court order. He said the legal proceedings had been going on for some 14 years.
Tasnim, an Iranian news agency, quoted a Pars Talaie lawyer as saying the debt involved a cargo that Pars Talaie had hired Maersk to take from the Iranian port of Abadan to Dubai more than a decade ago but which never arrived.
I guess it must have just been a funny coincidence that they decided to collect on that debt after all these years at the same time we implemented a blockade off Yemen preventing them from arming the rebels. I suppose it was just odd happenstance that the Iranians initially announced they had seized an American ship with American sailors.
Obviously the Iranians know all about the nuances of maritime law and the customs of sailing under flags of convenience. However, somebody has to explain it to the Marshall Islands
When asked if his country would request that the U.S. rescue the cargo ship from Iran, Junior Aini, the charge d’affairs for the Marshall Islands Embassy in Washington, told us he was still awaiting guidance from his foreign ministry. But he also suggested that his country had no other recourse than to hope the U.S. responds.
“The United States has the full security responsibility over the islands and for the defense of the islands, this is what our treaty says,” he told us. Aini was referring to a 1986 accord between the U.S. and the island nation that set the terms for independence. The Marshall Islands has no standing army.
Aini also said his nation is barred by the 1986 agreement from doing anything that would challenge America’s role in this regard. “We cannot take any action that will impact the U.S. responsibility,” he said. Under a 1983 Compact of Free Association, the U.S. has “full authority and responsibility for security and defense of the Marshall Islands,” according to a State Department fact sheet.
U.S. Navy warships will now accompany U.S.-flagged commercial vessels that pass through the Strait of Hormuz due to concerns that ships from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps navy could try to seize a U.S. cargo ship.
Looks like the Carl Vinson is heading through the Straits of Malacca just to emphasize the point, hopefully on its way to a port call in the Marshall Islands.
in most recent practice Iran sank a US aircraft carrier. Warning.
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