Even though the one-off ship seizure was related to actual legal proceedings, and had nothing to do with the US, the Pentagon seems to be dramatically ratcheting up tensions over it, another pretext to add US naval assets to the Iranian coast.
US Navy at near-combat patrol in the Strait of Hormuz ~ link ~
Pentagon officials said the Navy has already accompanied four American-flagged ships through the strait, including through the area of the passageway in Iranian waters.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei repudiated the claims that Iran had agreed in Lausanne to such inspections on demand. He declared in a speech on April 9 that the IAEA would not be allowed to inspect the country's military sites "under the excuse of nuclear supervision." Khamenei's speech came the day after the Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan had made it clear that no international inspections of Iranian military sites would be allowed under the nuclear agreement.
In his press availability in Lausanne on April 2, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, "Iran has agreed to allow the IAEA to investigate any suspicious site or any allegation of covert activities anywhere."
Yemen War: Terrified civilians caught between Saudi Arabia and Iran ~ link ~
So far the air strikes have failed to force back the Houthis. The involvement of a Saudi-led Sunni coalition has connected the crisis firmly with the broader conflict between Sunni and Shia branches of Islam that is inflaming much of the region. The United Nations says that more than 1,200 people have been killed and 300,000 forced to flee their homes as a result of Saudi bombing and ground fighting, which is particularly intense in Aden. “The scene is disastrous, not just in the streets where fighting is going on but inside houses where families are often trapped and terrified,” Ahmed al-Awgari, an activist in Aden, told Reuters. “Women and children have been burnt in homes, civilians have been shot in the streets or blown up by tank fire.”
Yemen is facing a humanitarian disaster, with half of its 26 million people already malnourished before the air attacks began. Aid agencies say that the Saudi air and sea blockade is preventing Yemen from importing food on which it is wholly reliant. This includes some 90 per cent of the wheat consumed in Yemen and other essentials. Hospitals are closing because they have no fuel for generators and have asked car owners with petrol to help move the sick and injured.
Royal Saudi Air Force strike in Yemeni capital kills at least 10 civilians ~ link ~
The Yemeni state news agency, Saba, reported 20 civilians dead and 50 wounded in the incident, and also cautioned the toll might rise because they are still recovering people from the rubble.
This is the latest in a long line of Saudi airstrikes against residential areas in the country, as well as refugee camps, a policy which has killed several hundreds of civilians over the course of the war.
France positioning itself for a lead role in the Persian Gulf ~ link ~
The most hawkish of the three, the Atlantic Council’s Ian Brzezinski (perhaps channeling his father Zbigniew), opined that the United States should impose tougher sanctions on Russia in order to “aggressively shock the Russian economy by shutting off its energy and financial sectors from the global economy.” Further, Washington should “provide military equipment to Ukraine, including air defense and anti-tank weapons as well as key enablers, such as drones…”
Most alarmingly, however, was Brzezinski’s recommendation to grant the NATO supreme allied commander the “authorities necessary to deploy in real time against provocative Russian military operations,” thereby taking the decision to go to war with a nuclear armed power out of the hands of the commander in chief and transferring it to the NATO commander in Brussels.