EU-Led Task Force Taking Shape to Protect Ships in Hormuz

Posted On Sep 28 2020 by

first_imgA European-led maritime protection mission is being established in the Strait of Hormuz, the UK government said.As explained, the aim of the mission is to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in the region.The UK said it “will seek to establish this mission as quickly as possible.” By July 29, the UK destroyer HMS Duncan will arrive in the Gulf region to take over from HMS Montrose.“The new force will be focused on free navigation, bearing in mind that one fifth of the world’s oil, a quarter of its liquefied natural gas – and trade worth half a trillion dollars – passes through the Strait of Hormuz every year,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement to the UK Parliament.“It will not be part of the US maximum pressure policy on Iran because we remain committed to preserving the Iran nuclear agreement.”The move comes following the seizure of Stena Impero, a British-flagged, Swedish-owned tanker by Iran on July 19. Iran claimed the vessel with 23 crew members on board was captured for breaching international maritime law. Stena Impero reportedly turned off its tracker, ignored warnings by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and failed to respond to a distress call sent by an Iranian fishing boat. The IRGC then boarded the tanker, instructing it to sail to the Port of Bandar Abbas.Take a look at the operation carried out by Iranian authorities in the video below:However, the UK said the tanker was passing through the Strait of Hormuz in the Westbound Traffic Lane “in full compliance with international law and the rules of navigation”.Earlier this month, the UK and Gibraltar forces detained the Iranian tanker Grace 1 which was allegedly supplying oil to Syria, a country subject to EU sanctions.“There is simply no comparison between Iran’s illegal seizure of a vessel inside a recognised shipping lane – where the Stena Impero had every right to be – and the enforcement of EU sanctions against a tanker that had freely navigated into the waters of a British Overseas Territory,” Hunt added.The UK Foreign Office recently urged British-flagged vessels to avoid all passage in Iranian waters and in the entire Strait of Hormuz. The UK also raised ISPS Code Security Level for the country’s ships transiting the strait to level 3.All British-flagged ships will be asked to give the UK notice of any intention to pass through the Strait of Hormuz to enable the naval forces to protect them. What is more, the UK is strengthening measures to protect vessels flying the flags of other countries but which have British crew onboard.As informed, there are 1,300 ships on the UK Ship Register. On an average day, two or three ships belonging to the Red Ensign Group pass through the Strait of Hormuz.last_img read more


At last! Bukayo Saka signs new long-term Arsenal contract

Posted On Sep 24 2020 by

first_imgBukayo Saka has signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal after Mikel Arteta convinced the 18-year-old to stay at the Emirates. The Gunners boss was all too aware of the growing interest in the London-born teen who he regards as key to his future plans. Saka, who came through the club’s academy, has made a major impact during the current season after making his debut in the Europa League in 2018. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta told the club’s official website: “Bukayo is a talented and intelligent young player. “He has impressed me with his work ethic and attitude to learn and adapt, and it has paid off in his performances. “I am excited to continue working with him to develop him further, and for him to help us achieve our goals.” The player was similarly delighted, as he tweeted: “London is my home. Arsenal my team. I’m so happy to finally announce my contract extension. “I love playing for this club and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. “The hard work continues so I can continue living my dream. God is Great!” Highly-rated winger Saka had turned the heads of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea who were reportedly willing to offer him way more than the £7,000-a-week that Arsenal had initially put on the table. The Gunners are now understood to have significantly improved their original offer. The England Under-19 international’s current £3,000-per-week deal was set to expire in the summer of 2021. Loading…center_img Arsenal have limped to just one League win following the Premier League’s restart but the versatile teenager has been the break-out star of what has been an otherwise miserable season for the Gunners. He proved to be his team’s best performer as Arsenal laboured to break down a struggling Brighton side and has shown versatility in fitting into a different position in all four games since the restart. Arteta revealed he was confident that the Hale academy graduate would commit his future to the Emirates ahead of Arsenal’s win over Southampton. He said: “I am very positive that everything is going to be done with Bukayo very shortly. “The communications between the club, the agents and the family have been going on for months and are very fluent. “But the player knows how much trust I have in him and every week he is showing his consistency level is getting better and better. “I am so excited by the young players we have. They just need the right environment around them to explode. “But Bukayo is already doing that despite our difficult circumstances, which is even more merit for him.” The club has also confirmed that David Luiz, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares have agreed contracts to stay at the Emirates, while Dani Ceballos will remain on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season. read also:Golden Boy 2020:  Saka, Anjorin listed, Osimhen Chukwueze out Luiz has agreed a one-year extension while Mari and Cedric will sign permanent four-years deals when their current loan agreements expire. Technical director Edu said: “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. “They have been part of the long-term technical plan Mikel and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more


Renewed Hope for Broward Family of FBI Agent Bob Levinson Held in Iran

Posted On Sep 20 2020 by

first_imgU.S. officials for years said Levinson was working for a private client on his trip to Iran. In December 2013, The Associated Press reported that the ex-agent had actually been on a mission for CIA analysts who had no authority to run spy operations.Since his disappearance, photos and video of Levinson in an orange jumpsuit emerged in 2010 and 2011. His family is suing Iran in U.S. federal court under the allegation that the Iranian government kidnapped him.FBI posterIran has acknowledged there is an open Revolutionary Court case involving Levinson, but a foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday that the case was a “missing person” filing — not a sign that the ex-agent was being prosecuted.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week that the State Department would offer $20 million on top of a previously posted $5 million reward for information on Levinson’s case.“The Trump administration has made clear that the regime in Iran must release all missing and wrongfully detained Americans, including Robert Levinson, Xiyue Wang, Siamak Namazi, and others,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We will not rest until they are reunited with their families.”Dan Levinson said his family has never given up hope Levinson’s alive even though they haven’t heard from him in 12 years, making him the longest-held hostage in U.S. history. The Coral Springs family of former FBI agent Bob Levinson held captive in Iran for over a decade, is emboldened in their fight for his release.Last week, the U.S. government announced a $20-million reward for information leading to his location and safe return.That’s on top of the $5-million FBI award.FILE – In this March 6, 2012, file photo, an FBI poster showing a composite image of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, right, of how he would look like now after five years in captivity, and an image, center, taken from the video, released by his kidnappers, and a picture before he was kidnapped, left, displayed during a news conference in Washington. Iran is acknowledging for the first time it has an open case before its Revolutionary Court over the 2007 disappearance of a former FBI agent on an unauthorized CIA mission to the country. In a filing to the United Nations, Iran said the case over Robert Levinson was “on going,” without elaborating. The Associated Press obtained the text of the filing Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)President Donald Trump on Sunday used Twitter to urge Iran to turn over former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in 2007 on an unauthorized CIA mission.“If Iran is able to turn over to the U.S. kidnapped former FBI Agent Robert A. Levinson, who has been missing in Iran for 12 years, it would be a very positive step,” the president wrote. last_img read more