TORY foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised to ‘reverse cuts to the size of the Royal Navy’ if he becomes prime minister. Hunt has already pledged to boost defence spending by £15bn over the next five years.
He said the Royal Navy had been ‘run down’ over recent decades and he would review the size of the current fleet. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Hunt said events in the Gulf showed the navy needed more warships. This is nonsense. The navy has just been equipped with two giant new aircraft carriers, costing together over £8bn, while 100 US planes to deliver death and destruction are being purchased.
The UK ruling class is to further expand its navy because it has been given a special task by the US. This task is to attack the Iranian people in the oil-rich Persian Gulf.
Whether the Tory Party vote for Johnson or Hunt as Tory leader and PM, their role has been spelt out. The Tory government is to be the shameless running dog of US imperialism, the true meaning of the ‘special relationship’.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Defence wildly claimed that Iranian boats tried to impede a British oil tanker in the Gulf – before being ‘driven off by a Royal Navy ship’. The Iranians are crystal clear – the event never happened and is simply a provocation designed by the UK to ratchet up war preparations.
Last week, British Royal Marines swooped in on an Iranian oil tanker, boarded it and then impounded it. The Spanish Foreign Ministry confirmed that the act of piracy was made at the request of the US. The Iranian tanker was carrying fuel and oil to the Syrian people. The vessel is still impounded in
Yesterday, Iran demanded again that Britain immediately release its oil tanker. Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: ‘This is a dangerous game and has consequences … the legal pretexts for the capture are not valid … the release of the tanker is in all countries’ interest … Foreign powers should leave the region because Iran and other regional countries are capable of securing regional security.’
This is a Tory regime that is determined to be America’s chief gun for hire. This is why Hunt makes his announcement that the Tories are to build up their navy. And who is going to pay for it? The UK workers will pay with savage cuts to its NHS, the ending of the Welfare State and with massive education cuts for its children.
The Iranian people will pay for it in blood, as Anglo-American imperialism takes action to reclaim the Persian Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz provides the only sea passage for oil in the region. It is one of the world’s most strategically important ‘choke points’.
The strait is about 90 nautical miles long, with a width varying from about 52 nautical miles to just 21 nautical miles. Even thinner are the shipping lanes themselves which in both directions are only 1.8 miles wide.
It is of great strategic importance to the imperialist powers. Over one-sixth of the entire global oil production and one-third of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) passes through the straight. For imperialism to survive, it must have control of the Strait of Hormuz.
The Tories are proposing a ‘maritime coalition’ to keep the waterways ‘fair and free’. And discussions are taking place now between outgoing Tory PM May and US President Trump about building up the British military presence in the Gulf. They will be sending troops as well as ships and planes!
The British trade unions must act and act now. They must immediately declare that their enemy is at home, and that they are in the same trench as the Iranian people!
They must further declare that in the interest of the British, the Iranian and the other peoples of the Middle East they will stop any British attack on Iran with a general strike. This is the lesson of the Iraq war. Marches could not stop it! Only regime change in the UK and the US will stop this war for oil that will cost millions of lives once it starts.
To stop this war the UK trade unions must bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government and socialism!