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British sailors arrested at gunpoint by Iranian navy.

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This situation has got me in a real stew.During the PMs question and answer in the Commons
this morning,Conservative defence speaker Haig asked pretty well the same questions as I have
asked,was anything been learned from the last RN hostage incident?,and received no answer from
the PM.Another question has occurred to me,do the Iranians have stealth gun boats?,and if not why
did the radar or the helicopter not
pick up these boats as they approached?,it appears that visibility
was good.Question,questions, a situation such as this will invariable lead to speculation and in the
absence of info from the MOD it will go on.
I hope however that these people get out safely and soon.
                      Regards
 

Rice0031

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I cannot believe some of the stuff one of my pals believes. He claims that the British sailors are acting under part of an American plot designed to provoke Iran into making a critical move that will provoke a war. He also claims that the Americans are in Iraq and Afghanistan to surround Iran so that they can make an attack once Iran does something provocative. He essentially believes all the events since 9/11 are an American conspiracy to wage an attack on Iran.  ??? ???
If only I was good at explaining things to people and debating. ...Argh someone calm me down.
 

tomahawk6

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Rosie O'Donnell said much the samething yesterday.There is no conspiracy theory that the left will not embrace.
 

Flip

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I always thought the RN/RM people would get out.
In spite of the ominous tone of some posts. I still think they will.

Irans' government aren't stupid - just aggressive.

Even if the boarding party had been too close to Iran, so what?
Iran could have chosen to warn them off or just send a terse memo.
Clearly, where actually were is irrelevant to Iran.

Grabbing them up was meant to make a statement at home.
The more conflict there is in the Iranian press, the more Iranian people
will put up with in their government. If a different Iranian government were in place things could be a lot different in the region.

The Iranian government knows damn well they are not going to get what so
richly deserve.  All they have to do is keep their people pissed off at the coalition.

Remember this is still a political crisis. - not a military one.






 

I_am_John_Galt

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tomahawk6 said:
Visual evidence that the RN/RM personnel were inside Iraqi waters.Picture taken by the RN flight crew that viewed the hostage taking.

_42736921_gps_mod.jpg

What I find even more revealing is Iran's shifting claims on where the incident took place: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/6502805.stm
The capture of the UK crew

The UK government has released details of where it says the 15 sailors and Marines were when they were seized by Iranian forces on 23 March.

# The Ministry of Defence says the merchant ship boarded by a crew from HMS Cornwall on 23 March was 1.7 nautical miles (3.1km) inside Iraqi territorial waters. It says the master of the vessel has confirmed this.

# HMS Cornwall was south-east of the merchant ship, inside Iraqi waters.

# On 24 March the Iranian government told the UK - according to the UK's Ministry of Defence - that the merchant vessel was at a different location, but still within Iraqi waters.

# When the UK pointed out to the Iranians that the location they had given was within Iraqi waters, the Iranians provided a "corrected" location, nearly 1 nautical mile away (1.9km) from its first position but within Iranian waters.


# The UK government disputes both Iranian claims. It says the "corrected" location is more than 2 nautical miles (3.7km) from its own version, as recorded by HMS Cornwall's GPS data equipment. ...
 

I_am_John_Galt

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tomahawk6 said:
Rosie O'Donnell said much the samething yesterday.There is no conspiracy theory that the left will not embrace.

And condemn the rest of us for not immediately and wholeheartedly embracing their various "fake but accurate" theories ...
 

GAP

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Flip said:
Remember this is still a political crisis. - not a military one.


Remember this is still an Internal political crisis. - not a military one.
 

tomahawk6

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GAP said:
Remember this is still an Internal political crisis. - not a military one.

I dont get you Gap. Internal to who ? The Iranians ?
Right now the issue is in the hands of the diplomats.
 

GAP

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Everybody is forgetting that as little as a year and half to two years ago there was severe internal strife in Iran, to the extent that people were protesting in the streets.

Shortly after those demonstrations the nuclear crisis was initiated by Iran and in it's various forms has been kept pumped up by Iran periodically. There have been other headline news crises, but the end result is that the Iranian people have been kept diverted from their original issues.

You can either acquiesce to the protesters, or you can divert the majority of their attention to something else, especially if they think they are about to be attacked by the "Great Satan"!!

So far it is working, while if you follow some of the mideast news clips, the Iranian Guard are rounding up the people responsible for starting the demonstrations. Does this remind anyone of the previous dictator?
 

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GEO
  What your point?we should sit around and watch,our troops get blown up by IEDs,shot by
snipers,mortared by equipment supplied by Iran or let them be taken hostage by said Iranians
all safe in the knowledge that sooner our later the Iranian will sort themselfs out.Get a grip man.
                                Regards
 

geo

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time expired said:
GEO
   What your point?we should sit around and watch, our troops get blown up by IEDs,shot by snipers,mortared by equipment supplied by Iran or let them be taken hostage by said Iranians all safe in the knowledge that sooner our later the Iranian will sort themselfs out.Get a grip man.
                                 Regards
Huh?
I have said nothing about letting "our" troops get shot at & blown up by anyone.

If we look at this instance, where 15 soldiers & sailors of one sovereign country are accosted by a warship of another sovereign country - both of whom are NOT at war with one another.... there is no justifiable grounds for the 15 soldier/sailors to open up in a noble effort to go down with the ship, in a blaze of gory glory.  A collective kamikaze by the troops wouldn't earn them any brownie points.

If HMS Cornwall was not in a position to block the action, if the CO did not feel he was in a position to take reasonnable steps to protect his personnel, without initiating Gulf War III, it is a far, far better thing to do - to kick-start the politician awake & tell him to get cracking!
 

Flip

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Time Expired

Face it, there are very few military options that don't cost the good guys.

The Iranians are in the weird position of gaining  from the west as friend or foe.
They chose foe.  Had they chosen friend, Iraq could have been over by now.

A decapitation strike wouldn't be popular in the west.
Any other strike wouldn't  be popular anywhere.

Sanctions are too slow.
Embargoes need concensus.

Israel has options because they don't care what anyone else thinks.

Hmmmm



 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Time Expired,
Are you saying next time a Spanish ship ALLEDGEDLY  comes and fishes in our waters and we go to detain it, that you would find it proper that they open fire on us, or just maybe it might make more sense until a few phone calls are made?

...about that "grip" thing......
 

observor 69

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Some sensible comments: http://tinyurl.com/2by8qk

26 March 2007
                                             
Iran: How To Start a War
                                                   
By Gwynne Dyer

        "I don't want to second-guess the British after the fact," said US
Navy Lieutenant-Commander Erik Horner, "but our rules of engagement allow a
little more latitude. Our boarding team's training is a little bit more
towards self-preservation."  Does that mean that one of his American
boarding teams would have opened fire if it had been them in the two
inflatable boats that were surrounded by Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast
patrol boats off the coast of Iraq last Friday?  "Agreed. Yes."

        Just as well that it was a British boarding team, then. The fifteen
British sailors and marines who were captured and taken to Tehran for
"questioning" last week are undoubtedly having an unpleasant time, but they
are alive, and Britain is only involved in two wars, in Iraq and
Afghanistan. If it had been one of Eriik Horner's boarding teams, they
would all be dead, and the United States and Iran would now be at war.

        Lt-Cdr Horner is the executive officer of the USS Underwood, the
American frigate that works together with HMS Cornwall, the British ship
that the captive boarding party came from. Interviewed after the incident
by Terri Judd of "The Independent," the only British print journalist on
HMS Cornwall, he was obviously struggling to be polite about the gutless
Brits, but he wasn't having much success.

See link, more to follow.


 

Cdn Blackshirt

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So there they are, eight sailors and seven marines in two rubber
boats, with personal weapons and no protection whatever, sitting about a
foot (300 cm) above the water, surrounded by six or seven Iranian attack
boats with mounted machine guns. "Defend yourself" by opening fire, and
after a single long burst from half a dozen heavy machine-guns there will
be fourteen dead young men and one dead young woman in two rapidly sinking
inflatables, and your country will be at war. Seems a bit pointless,
really.

        It's a cultural thing, at bottom. Britain has a long history of
fighting wars and taking casualties, but the combat doctrines are less
hairy-chested. British rules of engagement "are very much de-escalatory,
because we don't want wars starting," explained Admiral Sir Alan West,
former First Sea Lord. "Rather than roaring into action and sinking
everything in sight we try to step back, and that, of course, is why our
chaps were...able to be captured and taken away."

My problem isn't that they didn't fire when surrounded when and horribly outgunned.

My problem is the combination of leadership and doctrine and ROE's that allowed them to get surrounded and horribly outgunned in the first place?

I simply do not understand how any leader can put troops in a situation like that near a border where they don't have an overwhelming firepower advantage in order to deter such aggressive action by the Iranians. 

Somebody should be losing their damned job at the least, and preferably be court-martialed.


Matthew.  :salute:
 

GAP

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I'm sure the efficiency reports this year will have a dramatic effect.
 

Flip

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6501459.stm

"There is a joke doing the rounds," he suddenly said in a whisper and in perfect English. "If only the B-52s [bombers] could stop off in Tehran before going on to Kabul.

"After all, it is on the way!" He motioned to the ayatollahs on the podium next to us. "We can't get rid of them without your help!"

Really interesting article!!

This really is all about what's going on in Iran. "The Great Satan " is just a foil, a prop, a distraction.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6501459.stm

 

211RadOp

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More news on the subject

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070328/british_sailors_070328/20070328?hub=TopStories

Iranian TV broadcasts footage of British sailors

Iranian television broadcast footage Wednesday of the British sailors and marines captured in a disputed Iran-Iraq waterway, including a female captive who said their boats had "trespassed" in Iranian waters.

"Obviously we trespassed into their waters," British sailor Faye Turney said on the video broadcast by Al-Alam, an Arabic-language, Iranian state-run television station that is carried across the Middle East.

"They were very friendly and very hospitable, very thoughtful, nice people. They explained to us why we've been arrested, there was no harm, no aggression," said Turney, who was the only person to be shown speaking in the video.

Turney, 26, is also seen smoking a cigarette, her head partially covered in a black scarf.

At another point, she is shown eating with other sailors and marines.

Turney is one of 15 British sailors and marines who were captured by Iran last week.

The Iranian Embassy in London said Wednesday that a letter allegedly written by Turney to her parents says she had "apparently" entered Iranian territorial waters.

An embassy official sent a copy to the Associated Press:

"We were out in the boats when we were arrested by Iranian forces as we had apparently gone into Iranian waters," the letter said. "I wish we hadn't because then I'd be home with you all right now."

The letter also mentions that the British crew was being treated well.

"Please don't worry about me,'' the letter said. "I am staying strong. Hopefully it won't be long until I am home to get ready for Molly's birthday party with a present from Iranian people.''

The British Foreign Office issued a statement denouncing the broadcast.

"It's completely unacceptable for these pictures to be shown on television," the British Foreign Office said in a statement after the broadcast. "There is no doubt our personnel were seized in Iraqi territorial waters."

The statement also demanded that British diplomats be given immediate access to them as a "prelude" to their release.

Turney is expected to be released today or Thursday, the Iranian foreign minister confirmed Wednesday.

"Today or tomorrow, the lady will be released,'' Manouchehr Mottaki told The Associated Press Wednesday on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia.

Conflicting reports

Iran and Britain are offering up different versions of exactly where the sailors and marines were seized.

Iran says they captured the Royal Navy crew 0.5 km inside Iranian waters.

However, British military officials say their boarding vessels were about three kilometres inside Iraqi territorial waters when the incident occurred.

British Vice Admiral Charles Style told reporters that co-ordinates given Sunday by the Iranians placed the vessels in Iraqi waters.

Style said the Iranians changed the co-ordinates on Tuesday to a location within their waters.

"It is hard to understand a legitimate reason for this change of co-ordinates,'' Style said.

On Wednesday, Iran's embassy in London signalled a willingness to resolve the situation.

A statement said "the governments of Iran and Britain have the ability to solve the incident through contacts and close cooperation."

But Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that it was time to increase pressure on Iran to release the crew members.

"There was no justification whatever ... for their detention, it was completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal," Blair told the House of Commons, shortly after the Ministry of Defense released satellite data that it said proved the crew was in Iraqi waters.

"We had hoped to see their immediate release; this has not happened. It is now time to ratchet up the diplomatic and international pressure in order to make sure the Iranian government understands its total isolation on this issue."

Foreign affairs expert Eric Margolis told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday that the dispute has to be put into context.

"The Western powers and Iran are playing a game of chicken in the Gulf," said Margolis.

He said Iran is hypersensitive to probing by the U.S. and Britain at its borders and that they may be trying to make a statement to the countries to back off.

With files from The Associated Press
 
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