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’”

Showdown looming off Yemen with sanctioned Iranian ‘aid’ ship

Interesting times.

Iran Shahed, with stern decked out in Yemeni flags. Iranian flag flies from traditional position on center fantail. (Image: YouTube, Christoph Hoerstel)
Iran Shahed, with stern decked out in Yemeni flags. Iranian flag flies from traditional position on center fantail. (Image: YouTube, Christoph Hoerstel)

There are some important things to know about the Iranian cargo shop Iran Shahed, which left Bandar Abbas, Iran on 11 May and expects to get to the Houthi-held port of Hodeidah, on the Red Sea, on 20-21 May.  Iran claims the ships is carrying only humanitarian-aid cargo.

1.  The ship itself is on the U.S. Treasury list of vessels and shipping entities under sanction due to complicity in arms proliferation.

2.  We aren’t going to do anything about that.

3.  The Saudis have imposed a blockade on Yemen and are determined to prevent the importation of arms (i.e., from Iran to the Houthis) by air or sea. Continue reading “Showdown looming off Yemen with sanctioned Iranian ‘aid’ ship”

Bibi, Iran’s nukes, and military force in a changed Middle East

Game change.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the march. (Image: AFP via Der Spiegel)
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the march. (Image: AFP via Der Spiegel)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

IDF intercepts deadly Iranian arms shipment in Red Sea

Arms and the age.

On 5 March, Israeli forces stopped and boarded a freighter in the Red Sea, KLOS-C, which was carrying a cargo of battlefield rockets from Iran to Port Sudan.  The crew of the ship doesn’t appear to have known what was loaded in Iran; more on that later.  Sudan has of course served for years as a waypoint for Iranian arms deliveries to Gaza.  (See The Tower on this as well.)

According to the IDF, Israeli intelligence actually observed the rockets in question being transferred from Syria to Iran several months ago.  The rockets are versions of the Syrian-made M-302, the rocket used in a 302mm multiple-rocket launch system (MLRS).   The Assad regime has supplied Continue reading “IDF intercepts deadly Iranian arms shipment in Red Sea”

Syria: Update on maritime matters

Rumors of maritime shenanigans.

In a destabilizing region, the hits will come from all sides.  Egyptian authorities are confirming reports that terrorists with RPGs attacked a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship (Chinese-chartered) in the Suez Canal on 31 August (video here).  Not unnaturally, the insurance market is reacting sharply.

This is as good a time as any to deal with two reports floating in the infosphere.  One is that China has moved warships off the coast of Syria, an allegation sourced to a Russian website, Telegrafist.org.

Chinese warships? Continue reading “Syria: Update on maritime matters”