Monday, November 28, 2022

Royal Navy halts Iranian missile deliveries in the Persian Gulf as tensions escalate

Iran: Josep Borrell ‘resumes’ JCPOA talks with Tehran

Tensions remain high in the Persian Gulf as the highly strategic waterway prepares to take center stage at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year. About 25 percent of the world’s oil supply is routed through the Persian Gulf, passing through an unstable choke point in the Strait of Hormuz. According to sources in the Ministry of Defense (MoD), the Royal Navy announced the seizure of the alleged missile parts on two occasions earlier this year.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that this is the first time a British warship has intercepted ships carrying such a state-of-the-art weapon from Iran.

Missile parts were being smuggled into Yemen to support Houthi rebels fighting against Saudi-backed factions.

In addition to the Royal Navy, reports suggest that the US Navy has also carried out similar operations against alleged Iranian speedboats.

The American destroyer USS Gridley supported the British effort in February, deploying a Sikorsky Seahawks helicopter to provide an over-watch during the operation.

The weapons seized in January and February included the engines of Iranian surface-to-air missiles and ground-attack cruise missiles.

As of now, the incidents were not reported by the MoD.

Iran Royal Navy

The Royal Navy is accused of intercepting an Iranian speed boat – Iran denies report (Image: GETTY)

Persian Gulf

The Persian Gulf is a highly strategic waterway (Image: GETTY)

The missiles were being carried on speedboats in international waters south of Iran when a Leonardo Wildcat helicopter of the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose spotted ships approaching the Iranian coast.

The battleship was conducting routine operations when the armaments were stopped.

Weapons analysis by a team in the UK revealed that the shipment included Iranian-made 351 land-attack cruise missiles and several rocket engines for a batch of Iranian 358 anti-air missiles.

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The cruise missile’s engine is an unlicensed and pirated version of the Czech-designed power unit.

351, also known as the Quds, is an Iranian cruise missile that was said by the British to have a range of up to 1,000 km (620 mi).

The weapon type is regularly used by the Houthis to attack oil refineries and other infrastructure targets in Saudi Arabia and was also the weapon used to attack Abu Dhabi in January.

Iran has rejected the interception claims.

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Hms Montrose

HMS Montrose reportedly played a role in the operation. (Image: Crown Copyright)

Iranian Missile

Iran has repeatedly said that its military doctrine is based entirely on defense (Image: GETTY)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran observed that spokesman Nasser Kanani called the allegation “baseless”.

The senior diplomat said: “The UK is a participant in the coalition’s aggression against Yemen’s defenseless people due to the continued sale of state-of-the-art weapons to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen since 2015.”

He continued: “As a result, Britain is not in a position to make such baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic while holding human posture.”

Since the start of the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive, the British government has sold weapons worth £8 billion to the invading countries, including bombs, air-to-surface and cruise missiles and warplanes.

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Nasir Kananik

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani denied the incidents (Image: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran)

The current situation in Yemen has led to severe famine, which the United Nations describes as an “outright catastrophe”.

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Today, more than 17.4 million Yemenis are food insecure; An additional 1.6 million “hungers are expected to fall into emergency levels” in the coming months, bringing the total number of people with emergency needs to 7.3 million by the end of the year.

Countless civilians have also been killed in the conflict.

Speaking about Western military supplies to the Saudi regime, Mr Canaanite said: “The UK has trusted invaders with these weapons, knowing that they can be used to commit war crimes and be used in schools, hospitals, wedding ceremonies and food storage.” facilities to be attacked.

“Therefore, Britain is deprived of the necessary moral capacity to make such claims against the Islamic Republic.”

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Iran blames US for reaching JCPOA talks deadlock (Image: GETTY)

Relations between Tehran and the West have been cold since the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Despite efforts to revive the deal and see the US back on the table, many believe the recent pause in negotiations could lead to a complete collapse of the JCPOA.

Iran and the US recently held indirect EU-mediated talks in Doha.

After the Doha talks, the US accused Iran of pushing demands beyond the JCPOA.

US chief negotiator Rob Malle said the Doha talks were a “vain opportunity”.

On the other hand, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian, speaking in a joint press with Qatar’s Sheikh Mohammed, said that Iran is determined to reach a “good, strong and lasting” agreement.

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