Iran Steals a South Korean tanker and then puts it up on e-bay
I know that headline seems like clickbait but that is literally what happened.
On Monday armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces stormed a South Korean tanker and changed its course to Iran’s capital Teheran. The initial reason for the boarding, given by Iran, was the South Korean vessel was polluting Iranian waters. And Iran is so anti-pollution that they sent a bunch of armed guards and even a helicopter to put an end to this violation of their ecology! Deffo believe them.
The façade quickly faded however when a government spokesmen was asked about why Iran took the hostages. Spokesmen Ali Rabiei said this “If anybody is to be called a hostage taker, it is the South Korean government that has taken our more than $7 billion hostage under a futile pretext.” And so the truth is revealed!
So it seems the real motivation for the boatnapping, like most nappings of any sort, was financial. When Trump pulled the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal he imposed crippling economic sanctions on the pariah state, sanctions which US allies must also uphold. South Korea relies on the US heavily for military protection in the Asia-Pacific and thus must comply with US directives. They froze $7 billion of Iranian assets in Korean banks in compliance with the sanctions. Iran now seems to be using one of their only courses of action to fight it.
The seized tanker is now listed on Dinar, Iran’s version of e-Bay, for the equivalent of the $7 billion they feel they are owed. Which, imho, is a pretty hilarious thing to do.
Its a sticky situation. One should never condone kidnapping, unless its a Lebowski style self-nap that leads to all sorts of wacky adventures. In that case I wholeheartedly approve.
But Iran apparently doesn’t have many other options. They say they need the money for COVID vaccinations, at a time when they’re the worst hit country in the middle east. But the seizure also comes at a time when they’re just about to surpass uranium enrichment levels that would lead them on a path to develop weapons grade nuclear material, in clear violation of the nuclear deal. Is this a ploy to try and get an incoming Biden administration to lift the sanctions? Or are they really gearing up to go fully nuclear?
Oh, and they also just placed a Interpol Red Notice on Donald Trump for the 2020 drone strike death of top general Qasem Solemani. They ask the international community to arrest trump on sight and have him extradited to Iran to be tried for his crimes. LMAO. Get in line Iran.
South Korea have sent their anti-piracy unit into the Persian gulf complete with a 4400 ton destroyer and 300 troops. They have their Iranian ambassador negotiating for prisoner release right now and say they will soon dispatch a convoy of diplomats to help with the process. Here’s hoping the situation doesn’t get too ugly and Iran is simply trying to put pressure on American allies ahead of a massive shift in US foreign policy.
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