Trump Regime's Provocative Operation Sentinel
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
US military forces operate in parts of the world where they're unwelcome and don't belong — notably in the Middle East where endless US wars of aggression rage.
On Wednesday, newly confirmed US war secretary Mark Esper discussed the Trump regime's Operation Sentinel.
It's part of its maximum hostility toward nonbelligerent Iran, risking possible military confrontation with a nation threatening no one.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) operation has nothing to do with a war department claim about "ensur(ing) safe passage, and de-escalat(ing) tensions in international waters throughout the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb strait ,and the Gulf of Oman."
It's unrelated to Esper, saying "if we think a US ship may be under some type of threat (sic) — being stopped or being seized (sic) — we would want to make sure we have the capacity to make sure that doesn't happen."
No nations threaten the US, not Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, or any others. Claims otherwise are bald-faced Big Lies — ignoring the indisputable/unparalleled threat posed to humanity by the US and its imperial partners in high crimes.
Trump regime hardliners are escalating tensions with Iran, risking military confrontation, not the other way around, as Esper falsely claimed.
He lied saying "we would want to prevent the Iranians seizing or stopping a ship, certainly, for any arbitrary reason whatsoever" — a US/UK/NATO/Israeli specialty, not how the Islamic Republic operates.
Iran's IRGC seized Britain's Stena Impero tanker for provocatively breaching the right of "innocent passage" in Iranian Hormuz Strait territorial waters.
Britain, in cahoots with the Trump regime, illegally and maliciously seized Iran's Grace 1 super-tanker, flagrantly breaching the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Ramping up Washington's Middle East military presence is a prescription for continued, possibly escalated, hostilities in a part of the world already ablaze from US aggression.
Britain, France, Italy, and perhaps other EU countries intend ramping up their regional military naval presence, separately from the US, distancing themselves from provocative Trump regime actions — the UK under new hardline prime minister Boris Johnson a likely exception.
On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said "(w)e will not allow anyone to try to disrupt order in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz," adding:
"It is Iran and the other littoral states, which are chiefly responsible for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz…The Iranian nation has always acted as the guardian of the Persian Gulf."
"(T)he entire world should be grateful to the IRGC for the security in the Persian Gulf."
"We are not after keeping up tensions with certain European countries. If they abide by international regulations and stop taking unlawful measures like (what Britain) did in Gibraltar, they will receive a befitting response from Iran."
He stressed Iran's cooperative relations with other countries, but "would not submit to bullying" from the US, UK, or other countries.
In a letter to the Security Council, Iran defended its lawful action against Britain's Stena Impero tanker.
Separately, Iranian General Hossein Dehqan slammed Western countries for intending to increase their military presence in the Persian Gulf, warning it "could lead to unpredictable consequences," adding:
"(E)ither everyone enjoys full security…in the Strait of Hormuz…or no one does."
Iran's naval commander Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said the country's forces control Persian Gulf waters, monitoring actions by US vessels in the region.
The Islamic Republic prioritizes pursuing peaceful relations with other countries.
Hostile actions by the US and its imperial partners show they operate by a different standard — menacing nations unwilling to bend to their demands.
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