Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ships of a potential ‘Gulf of Aden incident’

File photos of vessels identified in a potential incident involving Iran Shahed, the Iranian vessel said transporting humanitarian relief supplies and workers from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Hodeidah, Yemen.

USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) Wasp class amphibious assault ship
Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group

RSN Al Riyadh class (F3000S Sawari II) light multipurpose frigate (FF)

RSN Al Madinah class guided missile frigates (FF)

ENS Alexandria (F911) Oliver Hazard Perry class guided-missile frigate (FFG)
(plus another unidentified Oliver Hazard Perry class guided-missile frigate)

IRINS Alborz (72) Alvand (Vosper Mark V) class frigate (FFG)
Islamic Republic of Iran Navy 34th Fleet

IRINS Bushehr (422) Bandar Abbas class replenishment ship (AORLH)
Islamic Republic of Iran Navy 34th Fleet

Iran Shahed (IMO 9184691) cargo ship

Iran Shahed, flying Yemeni flags and displaying Red Crescent banners [photo: Saed Karimi]

USS Fort McHenry (LSD- 43) Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship / Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group

USS New York (LPD-21) San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock / Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group


Mark Pyruz said...

Complicating hostile action against Iran Shahed are the presence of American and European nationals aboard the vessel serving as peace activists and humanitarian workers.

Nader Uskowi said...

This potential hostile action could be prevented if UN procedures are followed. The UNSC last month passed a resolution under Chapter 7 imposing arms embargo on the Huthis, which would allow member state to inspect Yemen-bound ships. UNSCRs have consequences. Now I do understand that Iran does not accept the "legitimacy" of Saudi-led coalition, but it could have gone through UN inspection facility in Djibouti, as required of all aid ships. It decided not to and instead challenge the inspection regime.

I am sure Iran Shahed carries humanitarian aid, but it is still subject to inspection, at Djibouti facility or by UN member states if Iran decides not to go through UN inspection. I still believe the best course of action is to go through UN, Iran still has time to do that. But that's Iran's call. Let's hope cooler heads prevail and we avoid a potentially dangerous hostile action here.

Iran of course is challenging the inspection regime, not just for this ship, as it carries humanitarian aid, but to set a precedent for future shipments that could contain arms for the Huthis prohibited by UNSCR arms embargo. Countries make choices. Iran is making its choice, challenging all to help the Huthis.