There is now a state piracy problem in the Atlantic, apparently


There is no United Nations resolution authorising this. It was pointed out that they might have had permission by the flag country, but the Department of Justice statement doesn't mention it, pretending instead that all authorization needed was from U.S. courts. That's not how it works in international waters, though. There is no reasonable doubt that the tankers were captured outside of U.S. territorial waters.

As far as I can tell, these were acts of piracy if there was no permission by the flag state (Liberia).

The U.S. government already confessed.

Now it appears that the officers of the apparently pirating ships involved as well as their chain of command upwards could be hunted with international arrest warrants through Interpol and arrested for piracy, even be extradited for due process and jail time. That's not going to happen, but as far as I can tell it's a legal possibility. I would not travel abroad if I was captain of one of the seemingly pirating ships.


P.S.: In case the first link gets deleted;


  1. It was not about oil from Iran, but about oil that the IRGC are transporting. These are a terrorist organization. The companies of this terrorist organization are themselves on the sanctions list of the European Union.

    Even Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are bringing this terrorist organization to grave human rights violations and crimes, and the fact is that this organization is very much involved in organized crime worldwide.

    So there was no act of piracy committed here, but the property of a terrorist organization was lawfully confiscated. Similarly, in Germany, too, organized crime criminals are deprived of their property through asset recovery. This is by no means a robbery or theft.

    1. The U.S.' opinion on the IRGC does not matter.
      The EU's opinion on the IRGC does not matter.
      The U.S. has zero legal authority outside its territorial waters in this case unless the flag state gave it.
      States can seize property within their area of sovereignty and in wartime only.

      International Law

    2. The US has absolutly every legal authority to seize the properity of an terrorist organisation. This is not restricted to their territory.

      Moreover to the same law you mentioned here the us ships are so long no pirates until you have proved this before an court. Only after the court has declared them so they could be called pirates.

      According to § 95 / 96 warhsips of states also have immunity in this area and cannot be prosecuted at all for this if the flag state do not want this. And exactly thats what happened here: the flag state does not claim anything against the us.

      Therefore according to your precious international law the us action was no piracy as the flag state has made no such claim and no court has proven here anything and will not as the flag state ignores this action.

    3. Iran has designated all American armed forces terrorists. According to your 'logic', Iran has absolutely every legal authority to seize U.S. property whenever it's being shipped around the world. They could seize all foreign military sales shipments, for example. All it takes according to your 'logic' is that the flag state doesn't call them out.
      I have zero respect for anyone who would claim that Americans would consider this OK and not call it piracy.

      You were trying to deceive by moving goalposts:
      The post wasn't about whether we can call anyone pirates. It was about piracy. The definition of piracy is MET unless Liberia authorised the actions. This includes the UNCLOS definition of piracy.

      Your final claim is utter bollocks.
      If a stranger in the street shoots you in the face, but dies before being convicted, it would still have been murder. Furthermore, there's a public DOJ confession about the action.
      A confession is an act that legitimises calling the suspect guilty of the crime.

    4. Iran has such right and even moreover the iranian revolutionary guards has done exact this several time, even several oil tankers have been sized by the iranian revolutionary guards 2019. Amongst them an iraqi oil tanker, an british oil tanker etc

      So the irany revolutionary guards are by your definitio a pirate organisation. They are pirates and therefore their ships are pirate ships. And it is absolulty legal to capture pirate ships.

      It is not piracy to capture the ships of pirates.

    5. Stop the primitive blathering.
      Me calling out the Americans doesn't mean that I am the slightest bit in opposition to calling out Iranian transgressions. There's enough -and amplified- outrage about the latter, but their transgressions are of zero concern to German interests, for example. American overreach is relevant to Germany in multiple ways. They're practically waging economic warfare against their treaty ally Germany right now.

      By the way; the U.S. did NOT do anything against an Iranian ship here. It captured Liberian ships supposed to have Iranian cargo. Those are no pirate ships in any way. To think otherwise is idiotic.

      I suppose you made it obvious that you can't think straight. You seem to be deluded by partisanship or something even more stupid.

    6. Were the ships for themselves captured ? The answer is no. They were forced to give up the cargo, which belongs to an pirate organisation which is also an terrorist organisation.

      It is legal so size property of pirates. The ships for themselves after giving up the cargo belonging to the pirates were set free imediatly and went on. So no piracy but the capturing of cargo belonging to pirates.

      Moreover with no word did i said anything against your position that the usa are waging an economic war against us. The us are for sure more our enemy than our friend and this ridicolous treaty ally blabla is only bullshit. We are no treaty allies, but vassals to them.

      What i appreciate about you is, that you do not use the modern euphemism language but name things the way they are. I will do the same therefore and claim that we are vassals to the us, and not free in our foreign policy and not allies.

      So call it piracy, it does not change anything about the simple fact that there is only one right between states, the right of the stronger. Between states there is in truth only anarchy and any legal definitions and procedures has only one meaning: to serve the interests of the powerful against the weaker in a way to spare costs. Thats it. Therefore you should not lament about us piracy, but about european weakness.

    7. Forcing ships to give up cargo was actually the typical modus operandi of Caribbean pirates.

      You seem to have no issue with 'just' forcing ships to go elsewhere without taking the cargo. By that reasoning the Iranians did not commit piracy.

      Moreover, the American opinion about IRGN being terrorists or not doesn't mean squat. As mentioned the Iranians designated all American armed forces terrorists, which equally means squat under international law.

      The vassal notion is nonsense IMO. German foreign political ineffectiveness and inaction is self-inflicted. It's in large part about electing unimaginative conservatives into leading coalition cabinets over and over again.

      There is no right of the stronger. There's stupidity and delusion of the stronger. The most prosperous countries are not strong and the most peaceful countries are not strong.

      You should sleep over the problem of how to reconcile your 'anarchy between states' and 'vassal' assertions.

      Finally, Europe isn't so much as it's politicians are unimaginative and inexplicably incapable of leaving the box of a very restricted conventional tool set. There are some quite simple solutions to problems that keep bogging them. The resources available in Europe are matched only by Americans and maybe the Chinese. ThaT's not weakness.

  2. Moreover, to quote the leftist propaganda here:

    "Rather, US officials threatened ship owners, insurers and captains with sanctions to force them to hand over their cargo, which now becomes US property."

    This is not piracy. Illegal perhaps, perhaps not, but this has nothing to do with piracy.

    1. Pirates threaten ships to surrender, then board them, control them, usually sell the cargo.

      Textbook piracy

  3. The US has a global reach in seaborne transportation and the communication network that enables it runs mostly through the US. It's possible to protect locally against this US reach, but there's no global protection. Other countries, even combined, have far fewer flattops to similarly regulate trade. The companies that carry out work at sea are for the most part vulnerable to US threats, because they can't have all their assets in sheltered areas all the time and depend on insurance and financial transactions. Flags of convenience are here at a disadvantage relative to nations that provide some backing for their merchant marines.

    Under which flags would the US be unlikely to resort to these measures? Say if these were Indian ships?
    I see this as lawfare, similar to the Northstream 2 problem.

    1. The weird situation because of the ridiculous Liberia = flag state issue is that Liberia may be the only country that would be legally entitled to go to the UN and complain.

      The other countries could merely confiscate assets from whatever company buys the stolen(?) oil, if they get hold of its assets.

      It's about time that the Europeans send a proper warning shot in regard to the Huawei, Nordstream and similar transgressions by the U.S.. American sovereignty has limits, and extending claims to authority beyond them is infringing on other countries' sovereignty, including allies'.

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