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PRAISE SINGERS  GO TO "GREET" NEW  GMD NNPC

PRAISE SINGERS GO TO "GREET" NEW GMD NNPC

04 August 2019

If journalism is to have meaning, to fulfill its raison d'etre, then it must be about speaking truth to power; giving a voice to the voiceless. The National Chairman of...

IS IT A NIGERIAN GAS FLARE COMMERCIALISATION PROGRAM ?

IS IT A NIGERIAN GAS FLARE COMMERCIALISATION PROGRAM ?

31 July 2019

The Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) is a prime example of a project well concieved but poorly executed and unlikely to achieve most of its objectives despite its inherernt...

VR CAPITAL BUY 25% OF P&ID AS NIGERIA FACE $9BN FINE

VR CAPITAL BUY 25% OF P&ID AS NIGERIA FACE $9BN FINE

05 June 2019

First, a health warning. This article is about recalcitrant, inept and quite possibly corrupt Nigerian politicians and government ministers. It is certainly about incompetence and misconduct in public office. It...

DISASTER AS UNEMPLOYMENT LEAPS BY 30%  TO 20.9m

DISASTER AS UNEMPLOYMENT LEAPS BY 30% TO 20.9m

29 May 2019

Nigeria is sleepwalking into a disaster which has the potential to unleash instability, insecurity and crippling hardship. Unemployment is always a cause for concern, it is the clearest indication that...

 NIGERIA NGIGE UNDEREMPLOYED OR UNEMPLOYABLE?

NIGERIA NGIGE UNDEREMPLOYED OR UNEMPLOYABLE?

08 May 2019

Working on the assumption that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has not been misquoted it is difficult to understand his recent pronouncement and what now seems...

NIGERIA ANOTHER MOU ANOTHER DAY

NIGERIA ANOTHER MOU ANOTHER DAY

01 May 2019

Nigeria has announced ambitious plans to double its oil production by 2025, targetting 4 million bpd in six years’ . Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director at the Nigerian National Petroleum...

NNPC REFINERY WOES 2019

NNPC REFINERY WOES 2019

24 April 2019

The Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has not unpredictably, stated that Nigeria’s continuous subsidy of petrol consumption means the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will...

NIGERIA OPEC STAND FIRM

NIGERIA OPEC STAND FIRM

28 March 2019

Nigeria and other member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as their non-OPEC allies led by the Russian Federation have said they are committed to...

PALM OIL PRODUCTION UNDERPERFORMS

PALM OIL PRODUCTION UNDERPERFORMS

18 March 2019

PALM OIL PRODUCTION A MEAGRE PERFORMANCE Nigeria from gaining a substantial share of the global oil palm industry now worth $62 billion annually, casting doubts on government’s ability to grow...

NIGERIA REFINING THE VISION

NIGERIA REFINING THE VISION

18 March 2019

NIGERIA REFINING THE VISION Nigeria is the only OPEC member country that imports gasoline (PMS) and holds the dubious distinction of being the largest importer in the world. The Nigerian...

IS THE PGB FATALLY FLAWED?

IS THE PGB FATALLY FLAWED?

18 March 2019

IS THE PIGB FATALLY FLAWED? Ten years after the Petroleum Industry Bill began its tortuous odyssey which has included the Bill being broken into four portions, both houses of the...

CBN PUMP UP THE T-BILLS

CBN PUMP UP THE T-BILLS

18 March 2019

CBN PUMP UP THE T-BILLS The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to raise a total of N1.809 trillion from the debt market, in the first quarter of 2019.This is...

TIN EXPORTS NIGERIA

TIN EXPORTS NIGERIA

17 March 2019

TIN EXPORT NIGERIA Synterra are able to export high grade tin ore from Nigeria. We agregate the Mining production of a number of artisanal miners and consolidate volumes for exportSynterra...

BERYLLIUM MINING OPPORTUNITIES

BERYLLIUM MINING OPPORTUNITIES

17 March 2019

The Nigeria Solid Mineral and Mining Sector has in effect made the great leap forward which will now allow investors to take advantage of the vast mineral potential Nigeria possess....

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Thursday, 20 June 2019 14:31

IRAN DOWN US SPY DRONE SUPREME COUNCIL WARN US OF RED LINES AS TRUMP WARNS OF BIG MISTAKE

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The Iranian foreign ministry described the drone as a provocation and by shooting it down they were sending a clear message to the US.  Whatever the Iranian intention was in shooting down the Drone they have ensured the film whose ending we  have all anticipated moves to the next chapter. If it were a movie it would be perhaps the most rotten of all rotten tomatoes we will see. We woke up this morning to recriminations and  the first but unlikely the last exchange between the US and Iran. 

The Iranians have shot down a  US Navy MQ-4C Triton drone. the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security council  almost jubilantly reiterated , "Our airspace is our red line and Iran has always responded and will continue to respond strongly to any country that violates our airspace," he goaded without actually mentioning the US by name.  Part of the reason for the jubilation was undoubtedly the Iranian capability to track down the drone and destroy it. The highly sophisticated drone is a $130 million ticket and downing it ranks alongside the U2" that was bought down in the 1960's

This action comes amid heightened tension in the wake of the attacks on oil tankers off Oman last week. The US and its regional allies - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab

Emirates (UAE) - have accused Iran of being behind these attacks with the US supporting the allegations with intellegance.

 The problem with US Intelligence reports is they are largely viewed with  skepticism. History and revealations as far back as the Gulf of Tonkin  undermined their

credibility especially  where any a priori interpretation of events clearly repudiates their  veracity. The US have belatedly produced 'photographic evidence to

substantiate their allegation  yet it is hardly overwhelming. The general sentiment is of Deja vu, with the purported evidence deemed a pretext to justify escalating

maximum pressure on  Iran. Crucially the shot down  US Navy MQ-4C Triton drone  flies real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance  (ISR) over vast ocean

and coastal regions, providing continuous maritime surveillance. Iran maintains the drone was shot down when it entered Iran's airspace near the Kouhmobarak

district in the south. After initially denying the report the US Navy confirmed a  MQ-4C Triton drone was brought down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile but  in

international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and therein lies the problem. The US will maintain that the drone was in international airspace and as such the Iranian action was yet another malign and unprovoked attack. Already Trump has tweeted the action was a big mistake.  It is now highly likely with the US media beating the drum of war we will see an imminent, possibly surgical strke on key Iranian infrastructure. Putin has already warned that such an action would be a catastrophe. It could be similar to the strike carried out in Syria, but Iran are not Syria. They have recently deployed a new surface to air missile system known as the Khordad 15 which reputedly has both stealth and cruise missile tracking capabilities.  This could escalate very quickly

The downing of the drone is almost certainly part of an Iranian strategy to deny US surveillance capability  in the Straites of Hormuz by limiting their capacity to track

Iranian naval assets in the region. The direction of travel is ominous and perhaps a precursor to increased Iranian activity in the Straites. Iran have made it clear in the

past that if they are  unable to export their oil through  the Straites, they would deny its use as a passage for any crude oil. The Iranian strategy is high risk as it is dependent on the US desire to aviod all out war which could turn out to be a grave miscalculation.

The Iranians strategy initially seemed to be to drive a wedge between the US who abandoned the JCPOA and the other signatories of the agreement, especially the

Europeans. However the Iranians have made it clear that the longer the sanctions continue and the other signatories to the JCPOA are unprepared to shield Iran from

the effects, the more Iran will abrogate its obligations under the JCPOA. Iran has already put the other signatories of the deal on notice by setting  a deadline of 27th  

June by which it will breach limits on uranium stockpiles set out in the nuclear deal, at which point the deal would  effectively lapse.

 President Trump has stated  he is ready to talk to Iranian leaders and was not seeking regime change, this is however  at odds with his national security adviser. 

Pompeo also recalibrated his earlier position that the United States would not lift sanctions on Iran unless it complied with a dozen sweeping demands, suggesting that those demands could be part of negotiations instead of preconditions. Washington  appears to be trying to walk a tightrope on Iran policy. Trump has told aides he wants to avoid a war, yet his top foreign policy officials are pressing him to amplify a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that relies on sanctions and the threat of military force. This approach seems characteristic of Trump's  destructive disorder modus where he creates a broad policy objective without a co-ordinated approach from departments of government resulting in strategic dissonance and incoherence.

The Iranians on their part have made it clear in a statement after the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, they have no interest in negotiating with Washington. Indeed the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei directly addressed US policy in comments made on May 29: “When you do not use your pressure tools and your pressure leverage, [the enemy’s] mind is at ease.” Tehran’s only option, he concluded, was using its own “pressure tools” in response.

Lest it be forgotten the sanctions not only seek to arrest Iran's capability to develop and deploy nuclear weapons but restrict its "malign" influence in the Middle East. Given that Iran is a  Shiite theocracy seeking to export its revolution and empower Shiite groups in the region the only conceivable way it can comply with US

demands is to repudiate it own Islamic revolution and raison d' etre . The Iranian involvement in backing militias in war-torn Yemen and Syria,  and Hezbollah, a Shiite

paramilitary group and political party in Lebanon, is their method of countering the influence of the Saudis, Israel and the US in the Middle East. There is no possibility

Iran will comply with that demand and therein lies the difficulty.

The "Maximum Pressure" policy has accelerated the process and made conflict between the 2 protagonists almost inevitable. It has allowed the Hawks in the US and

the Radicals in the Iran National Council  to sieze control of the narrative. The other signatories to the JCPOA, that is the Europeans are technically in breach of the

Agreement as a consequence of them observing US sanctions. The Chinese  and Russians have castigated the US for  unilaterally pulling out ot the  agreement with

the Chinese likely to  continue to trade with Iran which is a big market for it. The onus really falls on the europeans to keep the Iranians in the deal by observing their

obligations under the agreement.

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