Thwarted in its efforts to impose regime change on the Syrian people, US imperialism is gearing up for war against Iran. Britain is closely implicated in the bellicose preparations, but is showing signs of hesitancy as social unrest at home gathers pace.
Having spent the summer engineering a series of naval incidents in the Persian Gulf, pointing the finger of blame at Tehran for what carry all the hallmarks of false flag provocations, US imperialism is now massing an armada of warships and troops in the region, codenaming its manoeuvres Operation Sentinel, supposedly with the aim of ‘protecting shipping’ passing through the strait of Hormuz, but in reality to prepare for war with Iran.
Britain, the junior partner in the Anglo-American imperialist alliance, has already dispatched two warships in support, and has been a key player in this war of nerves. In early July a tanker bearing Iranian oil, the MT Grace 1, was illegally detained in a joint raid by Royal Navy Marines and the Gibraltar police.
The excuse for this act of piracy was the allegation (unproven, and denied by Tehran) that the ship was bound for Syria, and was therefore in breach of European Union sanctions against that country. This excuse was chosen because officially the EU and Britain do not support US sanctions against Iran, only against Syria.
But imperialism is trying to steer British public opinion towards yet another US-led war in the middle east at a moment when the refusal of parliament to carry out the wishes of the public as expressed in the Brexit referendum is undermining the confidence of the public in the whole parliamentary racket.
Whilst some in ruling class circles might favour another foreign war to distract the population from Brexit, harder heads will view with dismay the prospect of seeing the country dragged into another failed US military adventure at a time when social unrest is already starting to seethe.
A straw in the wind has been the U-turn recently performed by the British authorities in Gibraltar. After having colluded in the Royal Navy’s seizure of the MT Grace 1, the Gibraltar government got cold feet about prolonging the detention when it became clear that the ship was not planning on heading for Syria.
Since Britain does not publicly support Trump’s actions in tearing up the Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions, there was no longer any excuse to hang on to the vessel. Declaring that it was not bound by US law, Gibraltar then sent the ship on its way, leaving the US justice department to shoot off an impotent warrant for the seizure and forfeiture of the tanker and its oil.
Whilst too gutless to openly challenge the legality of the sanctions Washington has now reimposed on Iran (and on all those who do business with her), British imperialism has so far (publicly) tried to distance itself from the US policy of open economic war against the Iranian people.
If the British imperialists ends up falling in line with the US’s sanctions and war against Iran, they should understand that that they will also share the bitter fruits of humiliation and defeat with their partner in crime.