IMPERIALIST preparations for war against Iran were ramped up even further on Tuesday with completely unsubstantiated claims that Iran was responsible for the ‘hijacking’ of a tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman.
The circumstances surrounding this alleged hijack of the Asphalt Princess vessel were murky in the extreme with local media reporting that four oil tankers had announced via their automatic identification system trackers that they were ‘not under command’.
On Wednesday the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) warned of a ‘potential hijack’ of the Asphalt Princess on Tuesday night under circumstances it declared were ‘unclear’.
It is alleged that a group of armed men boarded the tanker ordering it to sail to Iran before suddenly disappearing as quickly as they had arrived.
The UKMTO did not provide any details of what had actually occurred simply saying that the ‘incident is complete.’ This of course didn’t stop the accusations that Iran was behind this ‘hijack’ and adds increasing volume to the war drums beating for military action by the US, UK and Israel against the country.
According to the Financial Times, US military forces swiftly descended on the area to investigate and pin the blame on Iran, with White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying the US was in close touch with Britain over the ‘deeply concerning’ incident.
Iran’s foreign ministry described the reports of security incidents involving several ships near the UAE coast on Tuesday and the report of a hijacking as ‘completely suspicious’ warning that it was an effort to create a ‘false atmosphere’ against Tehran.
The latest provocation follows just days after the US, UK and Israel blamed Iran for a drone strike on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman, claiming that they had cast iron proof of Iran’s culpability while refusing to release any details to substantiate their claims.
In a statement, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards completely refuted the allegations that their forces had any responsibility for these attacks and that the incidents were just a pretext for ‘hostile action’ against Iran.
The statement said that the incident was an attempt by western countries and Israel ‘to prepare the public opinion of the international community for hostile action against the honourable nation of Iran’.
This is precisely what these provocations are intended by US imperialism and its allies, to prepare the ground for a war to destroy Iran and the Palestinians and establish complete control over the vast wealth of the region for exploitation by the imperialist powers and Israel.
This was made clear US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who predicted a ‘collective response’ to the incident while on Monday PM Boris Johnson issued a clear warning that ‘Iran’s actions will have consequences’.
Yesterday, the head of the British army, General Sir Nick Carter, told the BBC that the UK must retaliate against Iran saying the UK must ‘call out Iran for its very reckless behaviour’
Speaking immediately after Tuesday’s ‘hijacking’, Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel is rallying global action against Iran over an attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off Oman last week, adding Israel is capable of responding on its own if necessary.
The tactic of lies and provocations has long been used by imperialism to as a pretext for its murderous wars of conquest. It was the lies of Weapons of Mass Destruction that was the excuse used by the Blair government to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq and the subsequent devastation of that country.
In fact the biggest perpetrators of drone attacks and war crimes in the region are the imperialists and Israel.
In its world crisis, capitalism in its final imperialist stage is resorting to war in an attempt to re-conquer the world for the profit of the ruling class.
The working class of the world, especially in the US and UK, must give its full support to Iran – the enemy of the working class is not Iran but the ruling class at home.
The way to end all imperialist wars is for workers to take power and put an end to imperialism and its wars with the victory of the world socialist revolution.