British Marines Seize Iranian Oil Tanker
At the request of POTUS and others in his administration, British commandos using high speed boats and helicopters made a dramatic high seas seizure of the Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, on July 5th. The oil tanker had been tracked by the US for sometime as it made its way through the Suez canal to Syria for refining. The tanker carried nearly 2 million barrels of oil. This was not doubt another message the Trump administration sent with added pressure besides the wrenching sanctions hurting the people and government. It also shows that Iran's plan to divide the Europeans from America regarding the nuclear deal will not work in most cases, although, China remains buying Iranian crude and tankers continue unhindered to and from there.
Iran's threat of breaking the treaty by making nuclear grade material in hopes that Europe will break away from sanctions also seems to have failed. The Iranians are now threatening allied oil tankers in the Persian Gulf area moving through the Straits of Hormuz. The British seizure will no doubt guarantee this Iranian response or more attacks on Saudi Arabia or allied assets. The Iranians humorously cited the act as piracy, something they have been doing for years, now they are on the receiving end of it.
The seizure was textbook as 30 Marines from the 42nd Commando easily took over the super tanker with crude worth $200 million. The 70 sanctions in place have been doing a tremendous damage to the Iranian economy and newer ones have been targeting oil, refineries, banks, making it difficult for the Iranians to find revenue.
As time goes on, Iran will try to retaliate but the full court press of sanctions, in time, will bring them to their knees even if they make weapons grade nuclear material, make terror attacks against Israel or Saudi Arabia assets.
Time is on the allied side unless Iran provokes war, in which case, it is hard to predict.