naturalfeature:gulf of oman

  • U.A.E. Splits With U.S. Over Blame for Oil Tanker Attack in May - Bloomberg

    A U.S. Navy vessel guards the Japanese oil tanker Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman.
    Photographer: Mumen Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

    The United Arab Emirates appeared to distance itself from U.S. claims that pinned attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz on Iran.

    Honestly we can’t point the blame at any country because we don’t have evidence,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said on Wednesday in Moscow. “If there is a country that has the evidence, then I’m convinced that the international community will listen to it. But we need to make sure the evidence is precise and convincing.

    While an investigation by the U.A.E., Norway and Saudi Arabia concluded that a “state actor” was most likely behind the incident in May, no nation was singled out. Still, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has said that Iran was almost certainly responsible.

  • Oman attack: Iran is the immediate, but unlikely, suspect - Iran -

    Oman attack: Iran is the immediate, but unlikely, suspect
    U.S. officials rushed to point to Tehran, but somehow the world’s leading intelligence services failed to discover who is actually behind the strike. And even if they knew, what could be done without risking all-out war?
    Zvi Bar’el | Jun. 14, 2019 | 8:36 AM | 3

    A unnamed senior U.S. Defense Department official was quick to tell CBS that Iran was “apparently” behind the Thursday attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, followed by State Secretary Mike Pompeo who later told reported that it was his government’s assessment. There’s nothing new about that, but neither is it a decisive proof.

    Who, then, struck the tankers? Whom does this strike serve and what can be done against such attacks?

    In all previous attacks in the Gulf in recent weeks Iran was naturally taken to be the immediate suspect. After all, Iran had threatened that if it could now sell its oil in the Gulf, other countries would not be able to ship oil through it; Tehran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, and in any case it’s in the sights of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. But this explanation is too easy.

    The Iranian regime is in the thrones of a major diplomatic struggle to persuade Europe and its allies, Russia and China, not to take the path of pulling out of the 2015 nuclear agreement. At the same time, Iran is sure that the United States is only looking for an excuse to attack it. Any violent initiative on Tehran’s part could only make things worse and bring it close to a military conflict, which it must avoid.

    Iran has announced it would scale back its commitments under the nuclear deal by expanding its low-level uranium enrichment and not transferring the remainder of its enriched uranium and heavy water to another country, as the agreement requires. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s reports reveal that it has indeed stepped up enrichment, but not in a way that could support a military nuclear program.

    It seems that alongside its diplomatic efforts, Iran prefers to threaten to harm the nuclear deal itself, responding to Washington with the same token, rather than escalate the situation to a military clash.

    Other possible suspects are the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who continue to pound Saudi targets with medium-range missiles, as was the case last week with strikes on the Abha and Jizan airports, near the Yemeni border, which wounded 26 people. The Houthis have also fired missiles at Riyadh and hit targets in the Gulf. In response, Saudi Arabia launched a massive missile strike on Houthi-controlled areas in northern Yemen.

    The strike on the oil tankers may have been a response to the response, but if this is the case, it goes against Iran’s policy, which seeks to neutralize any pretexts for a military clash in the Gulf. The question, therefore, is whether Iran has full control over all the actions the Houthis take, and whether the aid it gives them commits them fully to its policies, or whether they see assaults on Saudi targets as a separate, local battle, cut off from Iran’s considerations.

    The Houthis have claimed responsibility for some of their actions in Saudi territory in the past, and at times even took the trouble of explaining the reasons behind this assault or the other. But not this time.

    Yemen also hosts large Al-Qaida cells and Islamic State outposts, with both groups having a running account with Saudi Arabia and apparently the capabilities to carry out strikes on vessels moving through the Gulf.

    In the absence of confirmed and reliable information on the source of the fire, we may meanwhile discount the possibility of a Saudi or American provocation at which Iran has hinted, but such things have happened before. However, we may also wonder why some of the most sophisticated intelligence services in the world are having so much trouble discovering who actually carried out these attacks.

    Thwarting such attacks with no precise intelligence is an almost impossible task, but even if the identity of those responsible for it is known, the question of how to respond to the threat would still arise.

    If it turns out that Iran initiated or even carried out these attacks, American and Saudi military forces could attack its Revolutionary Guards’ marine bases along the Gulf coast, block Iranian shipping in the Gulf and persuade European countries to withdraw from the nuclear deal, claiming that continuing relations with Iran would mean supporting terrorism in general, and maritime terrorism in particular.

    The concern is that such a military response would lead Iran to escalate its own and openly strike American and Saudi targets in the name of self-defense and protecting its sovereignty. In that case, a large-scale war would be inevitable. But there’s no certainty that U.S. President Donald Trump, who wants to extricate his forces from military involvement in the Middle East, truly seeks such a conflict, which could suck more and more American forces into this sensitive arena.

    An escape route from this scenario would require intensive mediation efforts between Iran and the United States, but therein lies one major difficulty – finding an authoritative mediator that could pressure both parties. Russia or China are not suitable candidates, and ties between Washington and the European Union are acrimonious.

    It seems that all sides would be satisfied if they could place responsibility for the attacks on the Houthis or other terror groups. That is not to say that the United States or Saudi Arabia have any magic solutions when it comes to the Houthis; far from it. The war in Yemen has been going on for five years now with no military resolution, and increased bombardment of concentrations of Houthi forces could only expand their efforts to show their strength. But the United States would pay none of the diplomatic or military price for assaults on the Houthis it would for a forceful violent response against Iran itself.

    If sporadic, small-scale attacks raise such complex dilemmas, one can perhaps dream of an all-out war with Iran, but it is enough to look at the chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan to grow extremely cautious of the trajectory in which such dreams become a nightmare that lasts for decades.❞
    #Oman #Iran

    • UPDATE 1-"Flying objects" damaged Japanese tanker during attack in Gulf of Oman
      Junko Fujita – June 14, 2019
      (Adds comments from company president)
      By Junko Fujita

      TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) - Two “flying objects” damaged a Japanese tanker owned by Kokuka Sangyo Co in an attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, but there was no damage to the cargo of methanol, the company president said on Friday.

      The Kokuka Courageous is now sailing toward the port of Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates, with the crew having returned to the ship after evacuating because of the incident, Kokuka President Yutaka Katada told a press conference. It was being escorted by the U.S. Navy, he said.

      “The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole,” Katada said. “Then some crew witnessed the second shot.”

      Katada said there was no possibility that the ship, carrying 25,000 tons of methanol, was hit by a torpedo.

      The United States has blamed Iran for attacking the Kokuka Courageous and another tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, on Thursday, but Tehran has denied the allegations.

      The ship’s crew saw an Iranian military ship in the vicinity on Thursday night Japan time, Katada said.

      Katada said he did not believe Kokuka Courageous was targetted because it was owned by a Japanese firm. The tanker is registered in Panama and was flying a Panamanian flag, he said.

      “Unless very carefully examined, it would be hard to tell the tanker was operated or owned by Japanese,” he said. (...)

  • St Helena’s cherished lifeline ship to return as anti-piracy armory

    The Royal Mail Ship St Helena lies berthed in Cape Town harbour, South Africa April 17, 2018.
    REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

    The RMS St. Helena, Britain’s last working postal ship, was for nearly three decades the main source of contact between one of humanity’s remotest islands and the outside world.

    Now the ship, cherished by the 4,500 residents of British-ruled St. Helena, will start a new life as a floating armory, packed with automatic weapons, bullet-proof jackets and night vision goggles, all stored for maritime security operatives.

    Renamed the MNG Tahiti, the 340-foot ship will undergo some tweaks before sailing to the Gulf of Oman where it will be used to ferry guns and guards to passing vessels navigating stretches of water lurking with pirates, its new operator said on Tuesday.

  • LALEH KHALILI /// The Geopolitics of Maritime Transportation in the Middle East « ARCHIPELAGO | The Podcast Platform of the Funambulist

    Conversation recorded with Laleh Khalili in London on May 18, 2015
    This conversation with Laleh Khalili evolves around her on-going research about the geopolitics at work in the capitalist and military ship transportation around the Arabian Peninsula. This interview is structured in a geographical manner, reproducing the trip Laleh accomplished in February 2015 on a container ship between Malta and Jabal Ali (Dubai’s container port). We first address the politics of the ship itself, before going through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Hormuz Strait, and the Persian Gulf, to finally end on the narrow Iraqi shores.

    Laleh Khalili is a professor of Middle East Politics at SOAS, University of London. She is the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford 2013), the editor of Modern Arab Politics (Routledge 2008) and co-editor (with Jillian Schwedler) of Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Hurst/Oxford 2010).

    • Merci @gonzo, j’archive ! C’est assez marrant de voir cette guerre des noms se poursuivre, comme d’ailleurs entre la Corée et le Japon.

      Il y a eu une époque où les journalistes des médias qui écrivaient « Golfe » tout court ou « Golfe arabique » se voyaient notifié d’un refus d’entrer sur le territoire iranien quand ils se présentaient à la douane de l’aéroport (et faisaient donc un aller retour Téhéran par le même avion).

      Je savais les Iraniens ultra-sensibles sur cette question (j’ai reçu au cours de ma carrière des tonnes de documents et de lettres m’enjoignant d’abandonner l’expression « Golfe » pour « Golfe persique », seule dénomination « légale »... Mais jusqu’ici, c’était un peu plus discret du côté des États du Golfe qui avaient l’air d’avoir d’autres chats à fouetter plutôt que de s’occuper de toponymie.

      Je vais rechercher quelques exemples de cette propagande et les partager avec vous.

      #cartographie #propagande #manipulation #toponymie #golfe #golfe_persique #golfe_arabique

    • Je profite de ce post pour regrouper un certain nombre de liens et de docs :

      Congratulations ! Google Maps has recently added the term « Persian Gulf » on it’s maps !

      Polémique sur le Net : Golfe persique ou Golfe arabique ? Juin 2010 (c’est pas récent mais ça reste d’actualité)

      Persian Gulf ? Arabian Gulf ? One big gulf in understanding by Brian Whitaker

      Persian (or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught in the Middle of Regional Rivalries

      How Google is showing Arabian Gulf on Maps

    • Reçu ce mail en copie en 2011. C’est un ancien prisonier politique iranien qui s’adresse à un journaliste d’un mensuel français :

      Cher Monsieur,

      Comme vous le savez, nous, des gens d’origine iranienne, avons un très grand respect pour vous et vos écrits, que nous traduisons d’ailleurs immédiatement et diffusons à travers le monde entier.

      Dans une de vos dernières livraisons, vous aviez utilisé le vocable « Le Golfe » au lieu du « Golfe persique ». Vous qui êtes un journaliste du haut rang et qu’avec vos prises de position courageuses vous forcez l’admiration de tout un chacun, pourquoi alors s’incliner devant un « nationalisme » à la c... de certains Arabes et écrire ce qui est faux, historiquement et géographiquement ?

      Avez-vous peur d’eux ? Ou vous ne voulez pas les vexer ? Dans ce dernier cas alors, vous devriez prendre des positions anti-palestiniennes, de peur de vexer les Israëliens ??!

      Je ne veux pas critiquer davantage un Maître alors que je ne suis qu’un tout petit disciple. Mais je continue à penser que détourner la vérité historique pour plaire à l’un ou à l’autre, ne devrait pas faire partie de la personnalité d’un très grand journaliste que vous êtes...

      Avec mes salutations resprectueuses.

      XX, ancien prisonnier politique iranien

    • Et cette dépêche publiée par la BBC en 2010

      Iran protests to China on distortion of Persian Gulf name
      Text of report in English by Iranian official government news agency IRNA website

      Beijing, 13 November: Iran protested to China on Saturday [13 November] for distorting the name of the Persian Gulf during the opening ceremony of the Guangzhou Asian Games.

      Iran’s Ambassador to China Mehdi Safari told IRNA that separate notes of protest were sent to the Foreign Ministry of China and organizers of the Guangzhou 2010 on the issue.

      While showing maps of countries on the big screens of the opening ceremony at the Asian Games, a map of Iran appeared for a few seconds with the fake name of ’Arabian’ instead of ’Persian Gulf’ on it, said the Iranian ambassador. He stressed that the term ’Persian Gulf’ was written in all international maps of Iran.

      Safari added that officials of China’s Foreign Ministry as well as organizers of the Asian Games have apologized for the incident admitting that the protest was completely relevant.

      Immediately after Iran’s protest, the Foreign Ministry of China issued an instruction which required all its affiliated bodies to pay due attention to the use of the correct name of the ’Persian Gulf’ in the future.

      Safari stressed that the distortion of the name of the Persian Gulf had nothing to do with Beijing’s foreign policy and its attitude towards Iran but was instead a mistake made by the organizers of the Asian games. The Iranian ambassador reassured the friendly ties between Iran and China.

      Source: Islamic Republic News Agency website, Tehran, in English 0755 gmt 13 Nov 10

    • Voilà une des lettres type que j’ai reçu pendant une bonne trentaine d’années. Et à les relire, et a considérer les arguments les uns derrière les autres, on finit presque par comprendre pourquoi la guerre.

      Dear Friends,

      I am writing to express my concern regarding your articleq and maps. I am very disappointed to see that the Persian Gulf is erroneously referred to as The Gulf. I do not know where to begin to express my sheer outrage and disappointment in this.

      As a respected organization, how is this mistake allowed to take place” I sincerely hope it is not an intentional doing. If so,
      let me explain why this should not be allowed to take place.

      The Persian Gulf has always been known as just that, the Persian Gulf. The country with the largest single maritime boarder along it is Iran, and in Iran the majority (51% according to The World Factbook 2003) are ethnic Persians. This puts the numbers at roughly 34 million Persians out of 67 million
      Iranians. The official language is also Persian. Many people are under the false assumption that Persia changed its name to Iran, when in fact this is not the case.

      Persia still exists today, as a large southwestern province in Iran. Persia was always but one piece of the Iranian Empire. Its central piece, and all the emperors, even up until modern times, were Persian. Iran is just the name of the Empire, because it encompasses more than just Persia (such as
      Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Baluchistan, etc.). In 1935 the Emperor, or Shah, of Iran officially asked all world leaders to refer to the nation as Iran, not Persia, which is but one part of Iran. It is similar to England versus United Kingdom or Holland versus The Netherlands. Officially calling England the United Kingdom does not mean that the English do not exist anymore.

      So why has this most unfortunate fate been assigned to the Persians. In Persian, the word Persia is pronounced Pars hence the native way of saying the language, Parsi, Perisan Gulf, or Khalije Pars has been the accepted name of that body of water since ancient times, not just by Persians, but by all Iranians, and indeed, all neighboring Asians, such as Arabs, Indians, and Turks. It is also officially used by all European nations.

      There are many corrupt Arab leaders who insist on calling the Persian Gulf, The Gulf or worse yet, the Arabian Gulf. This is not for cultural or historic reasons, but rather for their own selfish purposes to express their power to foreign investors, and to try to take advantage of Iran‚s current unfortunate political situation.

      If respected organizations, and Newspaper allow these corrupt Arab leaders to systematically attack the respect and cultural integrity of the Persians, it will destroy a piece of history
      forever. Persians do not deserve this unjust treatment. Arabs have the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Gulf of Oman. Calling it The Gulf is not only unwarranted, but also violates an entire people‚s cultural heritage.

      Besides, there are literally hundreds of gulfs in the world ! Both the United States and Mexico touch the Gulf of Mexico, but it is still called the Gulf of Mexico; the same holds true for the English Channel, which is half French.

      I urge you to take back this damage and refer to this body of water as the Persian Gulf in your future articles and on your website. It is not too late to reverse this terrible damage.


      Teaching Assistant & Fellow Department of Anthropology
      University of XX in United States

    • En 2004, alors que je participais à la rédaction d’un rapport environnemental dans la région du Golfe [persique, donc], j’avais reçu à deux jours d’intervalle, un plainte violente de l’ambassadeur d’Iran à Genève et un avertissement de mon patron, en l’occurrence le PNUE à l’époque, qui me demandait de « mettre à jour les documents » non pas avec l’expression « Golfe persique » comme le demandait les iraniens mais avec une expression complètement incertaine qui encore aujourd’hui me laisse perplexe :


      The name “Golfe” on the map ’Water Management and Water Conflicts in the Middle East’ should be changed to the name “ROPME SEA Area” in accordance with the agreed upon terminology under the:

      Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Emnvironment from Pollution (ROMPE) or the Kuwait Convention of 1978.

      Thank you,

      XX, UNEP, Nairobi.

    • Et quand l’ONU s’en mêle et sort un Working paper de 8 pages reprenant des arguments historiques, c’est tr§-ès très intéressant :

      Fichier pdf téléchargeable

      In the end, it is worth mentioning that the name of Persian Gulf has been admitted in all the live languages of the world so far and all the countries throughout the world, name this
      Iranian Sea, just in the language of the people: PERSIAN GULF. Even our Arab brothers do not need to alter a historical name to have a gulf of their own, because there had been a gulf in
      their own name previously mentioned in the historical and geographical works and drawings, which is called at present the Red Sea (Bahr Ahmar).

  • News Story | Exclusive Iran And India Finalize Railroad Deal | Monitor Global Outlook

    Iran and India will build a railway connecting Afghanistan to the Gulf of Oman, a senior Iranian economic official tells Monitor Global Outlook.

    Iran and India have finalized plans to build a railway connecting Afghanistan’s mineral-rich Bamyan province to Iran’s southern Free Trade Industrial Zone and Port of Chabahar, a senior Iranian economic official tells Monitor Global Outlook.

    The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the managing director of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR) and his counterpart in India in March, is part of a joint plan to expand the Chabahar port’s loading capacity. It will offer India a gateway to trade in Afghanistan and Central Asian markets that avoids Pakistani territory. For Iran, the railways would be a new means to transport its steel for both domestic consumption and eventual export.

    #iran #afghanistan #transport #train #transport_ferroviaire