Spy or man in black
© FILE PHOTO Getty Images / Fairfax Media
For anyone wondering how an international incident happened that didn't have a link to Russia, no need to worry because those ubiquitous 'MI6 sources' are back to accuse Moscow of involvement in tensions between Britain and Iran.

Iran seized a British oil tanker in the Gulf over the weekend, saying it was "violating international maritime rules," although it's more likely because Britain seized an Iranian tanker earlier this month.

July has been a big month of tenuous Russia-blaming already, with Britain's foreign secretary suggesting Moscow could be behind an email leak from the UK ambassador in Washington, and US Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris accusing Russian bots of creating "heat" around the knee-bending superbowl protest of Colin Kapaernik.

So, now the Russia accusations are heading to the high seas and Britain's once-proud tabloid newspaper the Sunday Mirror has been on to its MI6 sources (anonymous of course) who claim that the Steno Impero tanker may have been "steered towards Iranian waters by false GPS coordinates sent by Russian spy technology."

The most anonymous of spooks also reportedly said: "Russia has the technology to spoof GPS and may have helped Iran in this venture as it was extremely brazen. It would make British shipping extremely vulnerable and will be of grave concern to Royal Navy warships in the region. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Russian intelligence have worked very closely in Syria, protecting and promoting their interests."

That's pretty much all the evidence that is being presented on this occasion, and in the spirit of fairness to other mainstream media outlets, at the time of writing, most seem to be avoiding this one and it's only really the Sunday Mirror which is going with this angle. The Express also went the story but only by quoting the Mirror quoting anonymous spy sources. Certainly seems reliable doesn't it?

This is a classic display from the school of '2+2=5' journalism. If something bad happens, there must be a Russian link. Russia has technology and is on good terms with Iran, so that is your answer. How do you prove it? Phone up the anonymous MI6 source of your choice and you have a story.

Following this logic, every time a Kalashnikov is fired does that mean it was ordered by Vladimir Putin? Every time a bomb is dropped on Yemen, does that mean the British prime minister signed off on it first? Every time a US aircraft carrier is parked off the coast of Iran to increase tensions in the region, does that mean the president ordered it? OK, that is a bad example.

Imagine what they'll come up with when they find out that at least one of the crew members is a Russian national.