Introduction – Jan 16, 2019
The Trump administration should be careful about making repeated threats and warnings, particularly over Iran.
In June Trump warned Iran that it risked “obliteration” if it wouldn’t talk with the U.S.
Iran refused saying it didn’t trust the Americans.
Then, President Trump reportedly called off air strikes on Iran, after Iran downed a U.S. Global Hawk drone in its airspace. Instead of a military strike Trump imposed more “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran’s already battered economy.
Now the U.S. has warned of “serious consequences” after an Iranian tanker that had been seized by Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar was released. The tanker was released despite U.S. requests that the authorities in Gibraltar continue to hold the vessel.
The thing about making threats is that you must be prepared to follow through on them. If you don’t the warnings sound hollow and eventually they are ignored.
More and more this is what is happening with Trump’s threats. Iran may be struggling economically because of U.S. sanctions but his tough talk is having little effect. Like a schoolyard bully faced with an undersized but tough opponent, Trump may have to make good on his threats or risk losing face entirely. Ed.
US warns of ‘serious consequences’ after Iranian tanker released by Gibraltar
RT – Jan 16, 2019
The US has said that “any individuals” associated with the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, which was released by the authorities in Gibraltar on Thursday despite US pressure to keep it in detention, should brace themselves for “serious consequences,” such as being barred from the US.
In a statement on Thursday, the US State Department accused the vessel, seized by the UK outside of Gibraltar in early July, of “assisting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by transporting oil from Iran to Syria” – despite written assurances Tehran gave Gibraltar that the tanker’s cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil would not be unloaded in Syria.
Washington, which formally designated the elite IRGC a “terrorist organization” earlier this year, noted that crew members of ships transporting Iranian oil may be “ineligible for visas or admission to the United States” under the terrorism-related provisions. Washington has long vowed to reduce Iranian oil exports to “zero,” slapping the Islamic Republic with multiple rounds of crippling sanctions.