Throughout centuries, one of the most distinctive features of British foreign policy has been its extensive use of disinformation that would be used to skew public perception of certain event in a way that would be advantageous to London’s imperial aspirations.
Previously, this tactics allowed Britain to reap noticeable dividends in the struggle for new markets and zones of influence against other international players. Indeed, through the clever use of cunning lies one can secure certain geopolitical goals, or even succeed in deceiving two opponents of the UK in a military confrontation against each other.
Yet, this same old tactics has recently been used against Iran in a bid to exacerbate its confrontation with Washington. However, today Britain has nothing in common with the fearsome empire it once was, as even its latest multi-billion Queen Elizabeth carrier has sprung a leak, again. Which means that propaganda is the last and only political instrument that London still has at its disposal and it uses it recklessly.
Apparently, upon existing every possibility of pushing forward “chemical” lies about Syria, that were manufactured by the UK-controlled organization the White Helmets, London has embarked on yet another disinformation campaign on June 12, putting a number of oil tankers into harm’s way off the Iranian coast. In the aftermath of that provocation both the US and UK rushed to the conclusion that Tehran was to be held responsible for this event. However, on top of Iran categorically denying its involvement in these incidents, a number of international analysts would draw public attention to a number of discrepancies in the official version of British “spin doctors”.
However, Western spin doctors had little interest in allowing the international community to establish true perpetrators of this attack, as they proceeded to yet another provocation that occurred on July 4, when Gibraltar detained a supertanker on groundless charges that London recklessly pressed against Tehran, Damascus and Moscow. Moreover, it would predictably argue that the latter two were somehow involved in oil smuggling operations in violation of the sanctions regime against Syria. And even though it was initially denied that Washington played a role in this latest scandal, as Grace 1 would have been seized by British special forces in Spanish territorial waters, a number of rushed enthusiastic comments made by the leading political figures both in Britain and the USA that were quick to follow the incident confirmed everyone’s suspicion that American intelligence agencies were no innocent bystanders in this aggravation.
However, in spite of some careful planning that was invested in this provocation, it fail to reap any positive results. On the contrary, it provoked an outburst of sharp criticism against London in the political circles of a number of countries, as quickly became apparent that once again there was no hard evidence to back up the claims voiced by London and Washington. The Syrian parliament would point out that no Syrian port was expecting the arrival of the Iranian supertanker detained off the coast of Gibraltar, and that the claims that it was bound for Syrian oil refineries were delusional at best. Yet, British intelligence agencies kept insisting on the version of the events, thus making a fundamental mistake. It would soon become apparent that a ship the size of Grace 1 wouldn’t be capable of entering any of the existing ports Syrian ports.
But British intelligence agencies often lose their minds, especially when it comes to the failure of their provocations. Therefore, soon a new, equally foul-smelling anti-Iranian action was born in London: London accused Tehran of trying to seize a British tanker in the Persian Gulf by “an armada of Iranian military boats”. In gratitude for such a propaganda action, Washington, the American media controlled by it and the Pentagon began to actively comment on the “criminal actions of Tehran”, using this situation to create “an international coalition to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf against Iran.” And after all, everyone understands that this was just an attempt to justify and cover up the call for the formation of an international coalition from the countries of the Persian Gulf, Europe and Asia to counter Iran (the Americans expanded the area of responsibility of the anti-Iranian coalition to the shores of Yemen). ). But neither in London nor in Washington do they even think that the US-proposed coalition will mean the actual naval blockade of Iran and could provoke the beginning of an open armed conflict in the region!It began in May and continued on June 12, when a clearly staged attack on several oil tankers, in which the United States and Britain rushed to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran, was committed off the southern coast of Iran. However, not only Tehran categorically denied any involvement in these incidents, but also numerous observers in different countries drew attention to the apparent discrepancy in these actions of British “directors”.
Against this background, on July 4, the authorities of Gibraltar detained the supertanker Grace 1 on the fake charges in London against Tehran, and at the same time Damascus and Moscow because of their alleged involvement in the transportation of Iranian oil to Syria in violation of international sanctions. Initially, it was reported that everything happened at the request of the United States, although the operation itself to seize the vessel was conducted by British special forces in Spanish territorial waters. The fact that immediately after the seizure enthusiastic comments from leading politicians in Britain and the USA sounded, confirms that this action has been prepared for a long time, with the participation of the special services of several Western countries.
However, this step didn’t reap London and Washington any positive results. Quite the contrary, it provoked sharp criticism of the UK and US in the political circles of a number of countries because of the apparent lack of credible evidence together with a number of inconsistencies that plagued their narrative. The Syrian parliament would state directly that not a single Syrian port was expecting the detained Iranian tanker, pointing out that the British intelligence community was flat out wrong. Then it became apparent for pretty much everyone that no Syrian post is capable of receiving no supertanker the size of Grace 1, while also being unable to process oil it was carrying.
But the British intelligence community would typically become pretty reckless when yet another provocation of theirs flops, which was the case this time around. Therefore, they had a brilliant idea of coming up with equally delusional anti-Iranian lie, this time around it was Tehran that was trying to seize the now British tanker in the Persian Gulf, using “an armada of small boats”. In gratitude for such a propaganda effort, Washington, and the US media it controls together with the Pentagon began actively commenting on the “criminal actions of Tehran”, using this pretext to establish “an international coalition to protect shipping routes in the Persian Gulf.” And after all, it’s apparent to pretty much everyone that we’re seeing an attempt to justify a cover up aimed at the establishment of a naval blockade of Iran by a coalition of states built from the countries of the Persian Gulf, Europe and Asia. But neither London, nor in Washington seems to be concerned about the fact that this development can result in an actual shooting war in the region.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif spared no words in describing the toxic smears of the Western propaganda, According to Zarif, what they have said themselves and the claims that have been made are for creating tension and these claims have no value. And then the UK had to fall back on its claims and admit the whole “incident” was the fact that a total of three Iranian small boats passed a British tanker by peacefully, without ever trying to seize it.
Then, London made a big news out of the fact that The British Heritage tanker, capable of hauling about a million barrels of oil, that was sailing to Iraq’s Basrah decided to turn half-way and flee to the Saudi territorial waters “out of fear of retaliation”.
The series of provocations and equally absurd statements made by London has heightened the risks for shipping companies exporting crude from the Persian Gulf. Insurance costs for both tankers and their cargoes soared, while some wary owners are now choosing to refuel elsewhere. That is why the only goal that British intelligence agencies have managed to achieve is to undermine Eurasian oil supplies and inflict considerable financial losses on ship-owners.
One can hardly argue with the former MI6 head Sir John Sawers, who has recently stated that the UK these days s in a ‘political nervous breakdown’, but then why should the rest of the world suffer because of that?
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”