Debka is reporting that British Petroleum is refusing to refuel Iranian airliners.
The new US sanctions covering the sale to Iran of refined oil products including gasoline and jet oil, which President Barak Obama signed into law Friday, July 2, have gone into action, Debkafile’s Iranian and military sources report. Monday, July 5, Mehdi Aliyari, secretary of Iranian Airlines Union, said airports in Britain, Germany, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates had refused to refuel Iranian passenger planes. He said the cutoff affected the national carrier Iran Air and the biggest Iranian private airline Mahan Air, both of which operate several flights to Europe.
Following this announcement, a spokeswoman of the oil giant BP said “we will comply with any international sanctions that are imposed. And that goes also for the new round of US sanctions following a decision by Congress.” Around Friday, BP sent faxes to its refueling operations in some European countries, including those owned with partners, ordering a ban on refueling for several Iranian airlines, including Iran Air. BP is under US pressure over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
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Analysis. It appears that Iran is about to get a dose of reality. Their airlines are effectively grounded at least as far as BP is concerned. Even Abu Dabai is facing a serious choices of who it wants to upset the least. The Iranians have also lost the use of those aircraft stuck out with no Jet-A. There is little doubt that the list of countries and suppliers who will refuse to refuel Iranian airplanes will continue to grow. Same goes for Iranian ships looking for bunker fuel. I don’t know what the quality of Iranian oil is and whether or not it is suitable for bunker fuel. Can you say immobilized?
We already know from our contacts in Iran that the majority of the Iranian people are willing to suffer through the effects of sanctions if it rids them of the mullahocracy. The question is what will the mullahs do? One doubts that they will surrender easily. There is too much riding on their control of Iran both from a religious perspective and from a secular perspective: no Hidden Imam and no new Persian Empire. Shiites will still be second class muslims.
The boys in the black turbans will not take this lying down. I would expect to see reactions in the form of harassment of tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, increased feint attacks on US Navy ships, increased air patrols in the Persian Gulf maybe including attempts to intercept airliners departing Kuwait, Bahrain, Daharan or the Emirates. Depending upon the outcome of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting tomorrow, expect the possibility of serious rumblings from Hezbollah. It is unknown at the moment if Hamas will increase attacks on Israel from the south. They may not want to be seen as being coupled to Iran.
Or the mullahs may decide the game is almost over and decide to generate for war.