Monday, February 22

Iran captures South Korean oil tanker amid tensions between the two countries


Washington / Jerusalem

Updated:

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The tensions between Washington and Tehran They are already spreading to Asia, after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker in the waters of the Persian Gulf on Monday and detained its crew, in a pressure maneuver against the sanctions applied by U S to your oil sector With just two weeks to go Donald Trump leave the White House the Iranians thus take a step forward, reinforced with the restart of uranium enrichment to 20%, after which the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that “Israel will not allow Iran to produce nuclear weapon As”

In recent months, Iran has tried by all means to South Korea, a staunch U S ally, released some $7 billion (€5 57 billion) in frozen assets from oil sales made before the Trump Administration reimposed its sanctions against the Islamic regime’s oil sector

According to the Iranian press, the Revolutionary Guard boarded the MHankuCherimi freighter and redirected it to the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas The ship was traveling from a petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates with a cargo of 7,200 tons of ethanol Iran later alleged through its official means that it seized the ship because it allegedly contaminated the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth through which 20% of the world’s oil passe As The South Korean Foreign Ministry immediately demanded the ship’s release and said in a statement that its crew, who are from various countries, were safe, Reuters report As

Pending the negotiation between Seoul and Tehran for the release of the ship, the Iranians complied with the announcement made at the weekend and informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the increase in uranium enrichment to a level of 20 % The international organization confirmed that the process has already been launched at thForddo plant and in this way the Iranians take a new step away from the nuclear deal signed in 2015 This degree of enrichment is still far from the 90% needed to make weapons, but when it occurred a decade ago it already set off all the alarms and was on the verge of provoking a surgical attack by Israel The Jewish state was once again the first to react and Netanyahu said that “this is a sign that Iran’s intention is to develop a nuclear military program”

Funds in South Korea

The 7,000 million Iran claims from South Korea are due to revenues from the sale of oil before Trump reimposed sanctions in 2019 Before, thanks to the nuclear agreement he negotiated Barack Obama With other world powers, Iran’s sanctions were lifted In May of that year, Trump canceled a series of exemptions and again allowed the United States to sanction those countries that buy crude from Iran Since then, Washington has been pressuring its closest allies to abide by its penalization regime for the Islamic Republic, which has been hardened in recent month As

Last year Iran similarly seized a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, and held it for months after one of its tankers was detained off Gibraltar by the British Navy at the behest of the U S That was also a provocation from Iran to U S allies, after Trump pulled out of thnuclearizationon deal with Tehran and tightened economic sanction As

This arrest coincides with the anniversary of the attack with a U S drone that killed the commander of the Quds brigades of the Revolutionary Guard, General Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad Iran then responded by firing ballistic missiles at U S bases in Iraq, lightly wounding dozens of U S soldier As

As the anniversary of Soleimani’s death approached, Trump sent B-52 bombers and a nuclear-powered submarine into the Persian Gulf, in case Iran attacked

For his part, acting U S Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced Sunday night that he is keeping the U S S Nimitz aircraft carrier in the area due to Iranian threats against Trump and other U S government official As , without giving more detail As On New Year’s Eve, Trump left his Florida resort and returned to the White House after telling friends he feared an attack from Iran The newspaper “The Washington Post” revealed those private conversations of the president

In October, the U S government dealt a severe blow to Iran with a new round of sanctions aimed at isolating the Ayatollah regime from international financial system As They were the heaviest penalties since Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw the U S from thnuclearizationon agreement of the Islamic Republic, and they have aggravated one of the largest economic crises in years, in the context of the pandemic

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