Johnson's promotion is basically a foregone conclusion. He enjoys tremendous support from the voters, about 160,000. Members of the Conservative Party. Although they officially choose the leader of the group, the reality automatically becomes the successor to Theresa May. The results will be announced on July 23, and the next day Johnson will go to the queen after nomination.
And then? As Lord West, former commander of the Royal Navy writes, he will immediately face an international crisis on a grand scale. The crisis that the West believes can not be ignored because of the second, extremely serious challenge facing the UK ̵
It is Iran, of course, who intercepted the Stena Impero tanker on the Ormuz Strait on 19 July, with a crew of 23 British-flagged men. Officially no one would admit it, but the real reason Stena was imprisoned was the British occupation of Iranian tanker Grace 1 near Giblartar in early July (on allegations of violating the sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime). The Tehran movement has led to a serious aggravation of the crisis in the already unstable region of the Persian Gulf.
There is a diplomatic fire exchange between the two countries since Stena's interception. The British authorities described Tehran's actions as "hostile," and Jeremy Hunt, the foreign ministry chief and Johnson's rival in the Tory leadership, threatened Iran with "grave consequences."
Iranians are not left in debt. They claim that they have had the right to stop the ship because it violated the law of the sea and resulted in a collision with the Iranian cutter. Tehran uses the propaganda case and tries to negotiate with the British out of the position of strength. "The British government should discourage its national political forces from escalating the existing tensions between Iran and the UK, and it is rather dangerous and unreasonable in such a difficult time in the region," wrote Iranian ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad , on twitter. He assured that "Iran, however, is determined and ready for different scenarios".
The interception of a British tanker is a very serious matter as it calls into question the freedom of shipping across the Strait of Hormuz. And this is one of the most important sea routes in the world – it leads to about 20 percent over. World trade in oil. No country can afford to block this transition permanently.
The problem is that Britain does not have too many ways out of the crisis Lord West writes about. The easiest of course would be the release of Grace 1. The problem is that the Supreme Court of Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory) extended the arrest of the ship until 15 August. In the near future, there is no way to legally release the tanker. This is all the more true as the authorities in London accuse his crew of breaking EU sanctions against Syria.
Another temporary option is to ensure maritime safety. The Royal Navy is present in the Persian Gulf and is already undertaking such activities. The problem is that, to say the least, Britain no longer has the right military potential to control the situation remotely. So he has to ask for help. Nothing could be simpler, in the end the United Kingdom can count on the support of the world's most powerful navy – the US Navy. And here comes another problem.
The US is in conflict with Iran and its ships are already in use in the waters of the Persian Gulf. They would like to help protect British ships, but the risk of accidental conflict would be considerable. It is not known to the end what America's policy towards Tehran is – blocking the Iranian nuclear program, as Trump explains, or depriving the country of the status of a regional power it enjoys in the Bay Area.
"The risk of a mistake or a reckless step leading to war is very real, and despite the fact that many people think differently when the war breaks out, there is no chance for the United Kingdom to fully embrace it US involvement, "says Lord West. Such a conflict would have catastrophic consequences for the region and the world.
Of course, negotiations are a hope, but it is difficult to expect success until the position of the United States is clarified. Only such a solution can lead to long-term lasting relaxation in the region. British experts would see a role for the United Kingdom, and especially the new Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson has excellent relations with Donald Trump. The American President supported him in the fight for the Prime Ministry, an unprecedented interference in the internal politics of the ally. Theoretically, the new British Prime Minister seems to be an excellent candidate for a politician who cuts through the Iranian knot and releases Stena Impero. The problem is that although Johnson is popular with Conservative Party activists, he is great at international experts.
The question of how destructive his action can be is the case of Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, a British woman from Iran. A woman of dual nationality was arrested while visiting her ancestral country. The authorities accused her of espionage and planning to overthrow the government. The British Zhagari-Ratcliffe family claimed that the allegations were absurd and that the woman had only visited relatives. This line was also presented by British officials.
During a meeting of one of the commissions of the Johnson Commons Committee, the then head of diplomacy said the British had "taught journalism." The authorities in Tehran triumphed and Zhagari-Ratcliffe threatened with a higher sentence. Eventually the charges were dismissed, but the woman is still in an Iranian jail. If Johnson negotiates the release of Stena Impero in the same way, that's something to be scared of.
Source: PAP, The Guardian