Socialist Worker

Resist the Trump team’s desire for war with Iran

Issue No. 2659

Tanker in the gulf of Oman

A oil tanker on fire in the gulf of Oman


US and British politicians, led by president Donald Trump’s gang, risk a drive towards war with Iran.

Trump ordered 1,000 more US troops to the Middle East this week and the US’s craven British allies promised to send marines and other special forces.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told CBS television last Sunday that the US was considering a “full range” of options that included possible military action.

Saudi Arabia and Israel could be emboldened to launch their own assaults.

The US and Britain are manufacturing an excuse to attack Iran if they think it necessary. It is based on lies.

Last week two oil tankers in the Gulf Of Oman were damaged around 14 nautical miles from the Iranian coast.

One was the Japanese-owned, Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous.

The other was the Front Altair, a Norwegian-owned, Marshall Islands-flagged vessel.

The US says mines were responsible, attached to the ships by Iranian forces. But Yutaka Katada, president of the firm that owns the Kokuka Courageous tanker, told reporters that the claim the ship had been damaged by limpet mines was “false”.

“The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object,” Katada said. “They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel.

“Then some crew witnessed a second shot.

“To put a bomb on the side is not something we are thinking.”

The Japanese and German government have requested stronger evidence than the grainy video released by the US Pentagon purporting to show an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships

But British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has said Iran is “almost certainly” responsible for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn questioned this claim. “Britain should not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement,” he said.

“Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.”

Trump’s administration is stuffed with liars.

US national security adviser John Bolton urged on the 2003 invasion of Iraq based on the false claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

And Pompeo, in setting out what he said were recent examples of Iranian terror attacks, gave the example of a car bomb on 31 May in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a US convoy was passing. But the Taliban claimed responsibility for that.

This is a hugely dangerous situation which might spark a war that could affect millions of people.

Some elements of the US ruling class, scarred by Iraq, realise the gamble such a war represents. But they cannot be relied on to halt it.

The drive to war must be opposed.

Don't attack Iran, Protest at Downing Street, Wed 26 June, 5pm-7pm, Downing Street, London. Called by Stop the War Coalition. Details here

Tonkin incident shows that the US has been here before

The US has form in manipulating incidents at sea to start wars.

US destroyers were allegedly attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats in the Tonkin Gulf off North Vietnam in August 1964.

The incident was used by president Lyndon Johnson to get congressional authority to escalate the war.

But it later emerged that any fighting that occurred was provoked by the Americans, who had been mounting clandestine naval operations against North Vietnam for years.


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