Iran tries to undermine Saudi embargo by diverting ship to Djibouti for ‘inspection’

Interesting times.

(Image via Nader Uskowi, Twitter)
(Image via Nader Uskowi, Twitter)

When we left our story on Monday, the Iran Shahed was in the Gulf of Aden heading for the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and was expected to arrive at Hodeidah, Yemen on Thursday, 21 May.  A U.S. military spokesman had encouraged Iran to have the ship offload its cargo in Djibouti and let the UN transport it to Yemen.  But the Iranians were having none of that.

By Wednesday morning, however, Iran had decided to allow the ship to be inspected by the UN in Djibouti, before it continued on to Hodeidah.  That is significantly different from what the low-level U.S. military spokesman — the only person who made an official U.S. suggestion — proposed. Continue reading “Iran tries to undermine Saudi embargo by diverting ship to Djibouti for ‘inspection’”

Cyprus: The mouse that went boom

Yet more interesting times.

You’ve got to feel for Cyprus.  The island starts out divided between Greek Cyprus and “Turkish Northern Cyprus,” an entity created by a Turkish armed invasion in 1974 and recognized by, well, Turkey.  With her historical Greek roots, Greek Cyprus – an independent nation – has extensive exposure to Greek government bonds, and has been fighting a rearguard action throughout 2011 to prevent a faster downgrading of Cypriot public debt.  (Some US states now face a somewhat similar potential domino effect from the downgrading of US debt.)

Arms and the explosion

Back in January 2009, Cyprus was the unfortunate flag state of the M/V Monchegorsk, chartered by Iran to transport arms to Syria in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1747. Continue reading “Cyprus: The mouse that went boom”