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Will Britain Accept Iran’s Quid Pro Quo Offer Over Seizure of Vessels?

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, on Wednesday, suggested that his nation might be willing to release the British Stena Impero oil tanker that it seized on the Strait of Hormuz last week in exchange for the U.K.’s release of an Iranian supertanker that was impounded by Britain in the Straight of Gibraltar three weeks ago.

Rouhani’s quid-pro-quo offer suggests the British tanker was seized as a form of leverage and tool to regain its own property. Iran claimed that the Stena violated international maritime law.

“We do not seek the continuation of tension with some European countries,” Rouhani reportedly said in comments carried on his website after his appearance at the Wednesday cabinet session.

“Should they be committed to international frameworks and give up their wrong actions, including what they did in Gibraltar, they will receive a proportional response from Iran,” he said.

On video footage of the July 19 seizure of the British vessel, an Iranian Revolutionary  Guard Corps (IRGC) marine could be heard shouting “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great as the tanker was taken in what Rouhani lauded on Wednesday as “professional and brave.”

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“The IRGC courageously seized the British ship because it had refused all the orders and warnings. They did a very accurate, professional and brave job. and I believe that the whole world must be grateful to the Islamic Revolution Guards for ensuring the security of the Persian Gulf,” Rouhani said.

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The IRGC’s seizure of the British tanker arrived just one day after Iran’s state-run television reported that the Corps had seized an unspecified foreign tanker it accused of smuggling oil. However, some analysts were skeptical of the move and accused Iran of pushing the claim to cause a surge in oil prices.

Also, one day before the British tanker was seized, the United State announced that it will send approximately 500 troops to Saudi Arabia in what is being interpreted as a show of strength to Iran.

This week, Britain announced plans to develop and deploy a Europe-led “maritime protection mission” to safeguard shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

It remains to be seen how Britain’s newly-elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson will respond to Rouhani, which will be one of his earliest and most significant tests of diplomatic strength.

The fate of dual British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been languishing in an Iranian prison on unfounded espionage charges for three years, is another important diplomatic issue that Johnson’s administration will be tasked with addressing and solving.

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Italian Populist Youth Group Praises Trump for His Peace Efforts

The Lega Nord is one of Europe’s strongest populist parties.

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The Lega Giovani, the youth branch of Salvini’s Lega party, announced its support in nominating President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Due to Trump’s efforts in brokering peace deals between Gulf Arab states and Israel, one Norwegian lawmaker Christian Tybring-Gjedde nominated the president for the Nobel Peace prize.

In a statement, Luca Toccalini, a member of the Italian Parliament and Chairman of Lega Giovani, declared that the “globalist left is losing its mind, scared by the outcome of the upcoming American elections, and this latest news decisively increased their worries.”

Toccalini added that Lega Giovani “strongly” supports the “nomination of President Donald Trump, a just reward for the continued dedication of his administration for lasting peace with a bilateral and multi polar approach.”

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The populist Italian member of Parliament noted how Trump’s Middle East agenda has contrasted with Obama’s:

After a decade of turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, sponsored by a globalist agenda and President Obama’s dreams of revolution, the last 4 years have seen great improvement for the stability in our neighbourhood which has also helped Europe.

Toccalini concluded:

Wishing four more years of peace and greatness, as Lega Giavani we strongly support Donald J. Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Matteo Salvini and Lega have led the way in putting populism on the map throughout Europe. Salvini broke the mold by implementing pro-gun reforms in 2018 and 2019. What seems like a concept that is only confined to the U.S., now the right to bear arms is starting to enter the conversation in Europe. Political organizations like Lega have undoubtedly changed political discourse in Italian politics and Europe, for that matter.

Youth organizations such as Lega Giovani will play a substantial role in spreading Lega’s message and educating younger generations of Italians and preparing them to be the new populist vanguard of an ever-changing European polity.

The message can be read here.

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