Ein unilaterally imposed oil embargo on Iran and a complementary oil embargo imposed unilaterally by the European Union on the Syrian state, a mentality reminiscent of the Middle Ages.
According to 2017 figures, Iran has the world’s fourth-largest oil resources and the second-largest natural gas resources. Syria’s oil and gas resources are moderate, but have ensured the country’s independence and a steady economic recovery.
Because Iran and Syria are now allies, the US embargo is directed against both states. In addition, the US has announced subordinate, so-called secondary sanctions against each state, every company, every individual of any nationality involved in the oil trade with either state.
The effects have been haunted for weeks by the fate of the Iranian oil tanker “Adrian Darya 1”, formerly “Grace 1”. The supertanker travels with 2 million barrels of crude oil in the Mediterranean to deliver it to a customer. Under international law, delivery is legal, as free trade and free sea routes are guaranteed to all states. This can only be prevented by a decision of the UN Security Council. There is no such information for Iran or Syria.
The US calls the oil supply “illegal” and “smuggling” because it has unilaterally decided to impose an oil embargo on Iran. In addition, the delivery is contrary to EU sanctions against Syria, which were also imposed unilaterally. It is claimed that the Iranian oil is destined for the refinery operator in Banias. EU sanctions prohibit trade with the Syrian government, ministries and state organisations. The refinery operators in Banias and Homs are state-owned enterprises and were therefore placed on their unilateral sanctions list by Brussels in July 2014.
The US also claims that the tanker belongs to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which were placed on its national terror list by the US. Those who trade in the oil of the Iranian tanker or support the tanker’s journey, finance and support terrorists, the conclusion is. This requirement and the oil embargo now take the US as an opportunity to put pressure on all the countries bordering the Mediterranean not to support the voyage of the tanker “Adrian Darya 2”.
The tanker was detained in the British Overseas Territory for six weeks after a British task force hijacked the vessel. After his release, the tanker continued its journey to the eastern Mediterranean, initially targeting a Greek port. Washington has put pressure on Greece, confirmed Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. The U.S. State Department had said its sanctions were “aggressive” against anyone who gave the ship a berth.
Sanctions are an act of war
Both the US embargo and the EU sanctions, which block virtually all trade with Syria, are in breach of international law because they were not adopted by the UN Security Council. In fact, they represent an “act of war,” as the UN special envoy for the effects of unilaterally imposed sanctions, Idriss Jazairy, explained to the author in an interview:
“A blockade is practically an act of war. We have blockades today against Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Iran. This is very worrying. Sanctions were originally supposed to be an alternative to war, but today sanctions are preparing for war. An economic blockade is an act of war.”
Western states considered the (unilateral) sanctions to be justifiable because they met their own criteria, Jazairy continued: “The majority of UN member states do not see it that way. It’s like taking the law into your own hands.” With unilateral sanctions, a “new system” is created, some states “speak right themselves.” This puts peace at risk. And that is world peace, not just regional peace”.
With their unilateral punitive measures, the US and the EU are trying to override international law and enforce their interest-driven punitive measures as a “right” beyond their borders and internationally.
While the US clearly mentions “The isolation of Iran from the world market” as the target of its unilateral embargo, the EU claims that its sanctions against Syria serve to “protect human rights”. The arrest of the Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar “robbed the Assad regime of more than 140 million US dollars worth of crude oil,” said Fabian Picardo, the prime minister of the British territory of Gibraltar. Iran spoke of “piracy.” Whatever it is in the end.
The looting of Syrian resources
If the oil of the Iranian tanker is destined for Syria, it would be very welcome there. It is urgently needed for the supply of electricity, petrol and heating oil to the population, industry and the economy, schools and hospitals. Not only is Syria prevented from importing oil from friendly states, it is also preventing It from using its own oil resources. They could help the country get back on its feet.
The Syrian oil sector has lost USD 14.5 billion in the last eight years of the war. Losses in the first quarter of 2019 alone amounted to USD 332 million, the National Euphrates Oil Company told Syrian daily Al Watan. The National Euphrates Oil Company is aiming for oil production of 7000 barrels per day in 2019. Before the war, more than 380,000 barrels of oil/day were produced in Syria.
The Al Omar and Al Tanak oil fields, both east of the Euphrates River and one of Syria’s largest oil fields, are “systematically looted by armed militias backed by the US,” Al Watan said. This was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defence at the end of July. Private US security firms have smuggled more than 3,500 mercenaries into eastern Syria under the guise of the US-led “anti-IS coalition.” They train local fighters and plunder the Conoco, Al Omar and Al Tanak oil fields. The mercenaries were integrated into the U.S. Army structures and received their orders from there, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. The oil fields are the same military bases.
A criminal network for cross-border oil smuggling stretches across northern Iraq, controlled by Iraqi Kurds, to Turkey, but the quantities of looted oil are unclear. Many oil fields have been completely or partially destroyed by airstrikes, fighting and improper pumping of oil. Oil experts may also be among the smuggled-in mercenaries to re-exploit the destroyed infrastructure.
Syria has repeatedly accused the US-led “anti-IS coalition” in protest letters to the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council of deliberately bombing and destroying Syrian oil infrastructure on the pretext of fighting the Islamic State. to have.
After the year 2000, the Syrian oil plants east of the Euphrates had been renewed and the gas sector also expanded. In 2010, a year before the war, more than 380,000 barrels of oil/Day were produced in Syria. About half of them were exported to Europe. Germany with 32 percent, Italy with 31 percent and France with 9 percent were among the main users of Syrian oil.
In 2011, Germany, France and the United Kingdom sanctioned the Syrian oil sector by the European Union and banned imports into Europe. In the hope that you can conquer Syria quickly and then the oil can simply rob.
In 2012, fighters of the “Free Syrian army“ occupied the Syrian oil plants east of the Euphrates. In April 2013, EU sanctions for these areas were lifted. The armed Opposition, which was supposed to overthrow the leadership in Damascus, should use the Syrian oil to generate its own financial resources. In Jordan, oil production courses were offered for the fighters and young tribe members who supported them.
In 2013/14, the Nusra Front first took over the oil fields, then the “Islamic State in Iraq and in the Levante“ (both Al Qaeda offshoot). In September 2014, the US attacked 12 oil refineries at Al Mayadin, Al Hasakeh and Abu Kamal with 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US Brookings Institute was assumed that ISIS controlled 60 percent of Syrian oil Fields. In spite of ongoing air raids by the US-led “Anti-IS coalition“, oil plundering continued. Rand Corporation, another US Think Tank, spoke of ISIS selling up to 40,000 barrels of oil per day in 2015, earning millions of dollars.
Since 2017 ISIS has been regarded as defeated, the Nusra Front operates as “Hayat Tahrir al Scham” (HTS, alliance for the liberation of Syria) in Idlib. Syria could restore its territorial integrity and control over national oil and gas resources. But the US-led coalition prevents the Syrian army from crossing the Euphrates. When Syrian troops with the support of Russian allies wanted to secure the Omari oilfield in February 2018, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) called for the US-led coalition to stop the advance. In the following air raids, up to 300 Syrian and Russian soldiers and militias were killed.
The United States of America (USA) and the forces of the (Anti-IS) coalition (…) now control 30 percent of the Syrian territory, a large part of the (Syrian) population, and the Syrian oil Fields. (Terrorist Rex Tillerson)
This would allow the USA to influence the further development in Syria. The US’s goal in Syria is to beat the IS, push Iran back and support a government to Assad. Which of course is only an extended Arm of the US. A graduate of an American Elite university so stupid that he doesn’t even speak Arabic.
According to plans of a “small Syrian Group“ (USA, Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Germany, Egypt), which became known shortly thereafter, Syria is to be divided along the Euphrates. With military and financial help of the US-led “Anti-IS coalition“ should be established in the province of “Eastern Euphrates“, to be ruled by the Syrian Kurds and Arab tribes. With the current U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain William Roebuck, the US has already sent an official representative in the territory.
Now the Syrian oil fields are largely controlled by Syrian Kurds. Other oil fields are held by Arab tribes of the Euphrates valley, who regard the Kurds in their territory as occupiers. The US weapons, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates money available. France has special forces on the ground. If necessary, the US-led coalition sends the Air Force and provides heavy artillery.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly announced the withdrawal of US soldiers from Syria, a campaign promise from the year 2016. The withdrawal could restore the territorial integrity of the country again. This is in line with international law and is also supported by Syria’s Russia and Iran allies. However, parts of the US Administration and US allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and European countries) want to prevent that. So an army is built up from local forces to stop the Syrian army. The Syrian Kurds are the spearhead of this force. They are now also supported by mercenaries.
The proposal of a mercenary army in Syria was made by Eric Prince at the end of 2017. The former U.S. Navy Seal is the founder of the private U.S. security firm “Blackwater“, which was well in business in Iraq. Prince left Blackwater and built an elite force in Syria and Yemen for the ruling Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Prince wants to “privatise war” and finance this through oil transactions in the affected countries. His proposal to replace American soldiers by mercenaries, was rejected by U.S. Secretary of defense Jim Mattis. At the end of 2018, Mattis resigned, and there are many indications today that Prince can implement his business in Syria.
As in Iraq in 2003, the US and its allies are breaking international law in Syria. But we’re the good guys …