Two months ago we explained very diligently, why courtesy of the strategic Russian Naval base in Tartus, Syria, the Russian regime will never, repeat never, let the Syrian government be replaced by various insurgent forces (very much like in other parts of MENA, which now are suffering from an absolute political vacuum and even greater corruption in the aftermath of the Arabian Spring). Granted, while Ambassador Rice may say she is "disgusted" with the subsequent Security Council vote which courtesy of Russia and China halted a intervention in Syria based on unbiased media reports showing one side of the story, one can only imagine how disgusted the rest of the world may have be with the stupid placement of Iran in such close proximity to all those US army bases. Subsequently there were various reports of Russian troops arriving in Tartus, both confirmed and denied by Russia, which were promptly forgotten: after all distractions from other, far greater problems can not become too repetitive or else the general audience will habituate.
But all that was a month ago, and attention spans these days are short, so it is time to once again escalate, and sure enough yesterday the AP reported that Obama has approved an aid package to the Syrian rebels. Naturally, since this whole theater is all about severing strategic Russian national interests in the Mediterranean, and thus, into the Suez, Arabian Gulf, and ultimately Persian Gulf, German Spiegel reports of the immediate tat to America's tit (not to be confused with the Colombian legal prostitution tit, where it now appears whoregate is about to become a national pastime courtesy of upcoming congressional hearings involving the 12 men from Obama's staff who were Secretly Serviced on taxpayer dimes), as apparently yet another Russian-chartered, German ship has been intercepted carrying military equipment and munitions into Syria.
At attempt to defy the weapons embargo on the Syrian regime has been thwarted in the Mediterranean Sea, SPIEGEL has learned. On Friday, a German-owned ship carrying military equipment and munitions from Iran was stopped from docking in a Syrian port.
A German-owned freighter loaded with weapons from Iran was stopped on Friday near the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean Sea, SPIEGEL has learned.
A few days prior, the Atlantic Cruiser, owned by the Emden carrier Bockstiegel, had allegedly picked up heavy military equipment and munitions meant for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's regime from an Iranian freighter at the Djibouti port. The cargo, desperately needed reinforcements for Assad's crackdown on dissidents, was supposed to be unloaded on Friday.
But defectors from inside the Syrian government had learned of the delivery and warned the shipping company. On Friday the Atlantic Cruiser suddenly changed course, heading for the Turkish harbor of Iskenderun instead. Then the ship stopped some 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Tartus, sailing in circles for the next few hours.
"We stopped the ship after getting information on the weapons cargo," shipping agent Torsten Lüddeke of Hamburg-based C.E.G. Bulk Chartering told SPIEGEL.
It appears that the Russians have once again dared to protect their strategic interests.
According to Lüddeke, the ship had been chartered by an Odessa, Ukraine-based company called White Whale Shipping. "They declared to us as cargo mainly pumps and similar things," he said. "We never would have allowed weapons on board." For now, the 6,200-ton ship will "stay where it is," he added.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian shipping company has insisted that the Atlantic Cruiser is not carrying weapons and that it be allowed to dock in Tartus.
However, SPIEGEL has learned that the ship's crew had attempted to refuel in the Cypriot port of Limassol, but was turned away after reporting its cargo as "weapons and munitions."
Said otherwise, it is time to unscab the Persian foreign relations wound just in time for, as Reuters puts it, "Iran, big powers agree - to keep talking."
After a year of sanctions and saber-rattling over Iran's nuclear program, negotiators from Tehran and six world powers finally resumed talks and found at least enough common ground to agree to meet again next month.
Basically they all sat down... and agreed to sit down again.
So why the tension? Well recall that just like it is in the Fed's best interest to keep the Schrodinger economy both alive and dead so it has an excuse to dump another trillion in electronic dollar signs into US banks (just as BofA - there is no greater fan of this plan than them), so it is America's general interest to push oil lower, but to have a loophole to bomb the living daylights out of anything that moves in the Middle East.
Hence the gambit: diffuse Iran modestly so Brent falls another $3, $4, or hopefully $5/barrel, because with the summer approaching gas prices ain't going any lower, and with the economy sputtering yet again, having more QE with gas at $4.00 would result in a rerun of the late summer of 2008. But don't diffuse it completely: de-escalate if possible so that while Iran is seemingly better, Syria is once again all the humanist rage: we are likely hours away from finding weapons of mass destruction in Syria next.
And so on, and so on, and so on: both US domestic and foreign policy continue to drone on like a broken record, something we remarked on yesterday when we noted how 2012 is just like 2011... and just like 2010. Unfortunately, Hollywood is not the only place devoid of new and original ideas and forced to settle for endless sequels: so is now US fiscal, monetary and foreign policy.