Iran and Syria Breaking International Law

Iran is snubbing their nose at the rest of the law abiding world. The U.N. sanctions were meant to drive Iran to the bargaining table in order to stop them from becoming a nuclear nation. The sanctions against Syria were designed to stop the killing of innocent people. But have they worked?

Both Iran and Syria are defying oil embargo laws. The question is why would we trust any extremist Islamic Muslim nation to begin with? In their culture they have an understanding with other Muslims that they do not have to obey any laws but Islam.

“Hudna” is an Arab word that means they don’t have to abide with agreements, treaties, promises and laws of non-Muslims. They believe that negotiating with the enemy shows weakness and their culture operates by a different set of rules. The aim of a “hudna” is to gain time in order to strengthen their Islamic military capabilities.

This is true as far as the Syrian regime continuing to fight on into an official cease-fire they agreed upon. This is also true for Iran who is buying time in U.N. talks to further develop their nuclear program. “Hudna” also aims at tranquilizing the enemy into the belief that they have achieved peace, and catch them off guard. The Islamic side can also legally abolish a “hudna” at will, if it pleases them.

Iran’s state-owned shipping lines have been breaking international law by switching flags, using different company names, changing owners names and turning off tracking devises on the ships so they cannot be tracked, in order to transport crude from Syria to Iran. They have been going around the international efforts to cut off finances to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad and force him to honor the cease-fire.

International Maritime law requires ocean-going ships to be flagged according to their country of origin. Vessels can, however, be registered in an additional country where standards are slacker.

Hugh Griffiths said, “The Iranian tanker fleet is becoming increasingly hard to track.”  Head of the countering illicit tracking unit, Griffiths continued, “As a result, Iranian-owned oil tankers are migrating to less regulated flags to continue doing business – whether it is shipping oil on behalf of the Assad regime in Syria, or transporting Iranian crude.”

“Iran is highly adept at moving quickly to avoid detection by government officials and private sector compliance teams but the lack of genuine multilateral measures make it much easier for Iran to sidestep sanctions,” said Mr. Chris Pickup, a lawyer at Freshfields International law firm.

Then again, breaking the law may just depend on your ideology and your ability to go around the law with concepts like “Hudna.”

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