March 23, 2007

Hostage Crisis: Iran Captures 15 British Sailors & Marines

What's old is new. Iran is insisting that the 15 marines and sailors were in their waters, the British claim they were in Iraqi waters. The truth? Come on. Do you really have to ask? Unless, of course, the Iranians now consider Southern Iraq an extension of Iran. Which may not be too far off the mark.

Leonidas, where art thou?

BBC:

Fifteen British Navy personnel have been captured at gunpoint by Iranian forces, the Ministry of Defence says.

The men were seized at 1030 local time when they boarded a boat in the Gulf, off the coast of Iraq, which they suspected was smuggling cars....

The Ministry of Defence said: "The group boarding party had completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian territorial waters.

"We are urgently pursuing this matter with the Iranian authorities at the highest level.

"The British government is demanding the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment."

Hat tip: Tim at Opinion Bug

P.S. & Update: Isn't this an act of war?

Another update: Given that embassies in Tehran were making evacuation plans yesterday.....er, I hate to place the tinfoil hat on here, but what are the chances that this was a planned operation?

Allah provides video of the last time Iran took British personell hostage and says:

Iran can’t have meant to do this, not with Ahmadinejad set to address the Security Council tomorrow about the nuclear program and not to the British, who’ve been adamant in opposing any military action on Iran.
Maybe, and in my heart of hearts I'm a Realist--which posits that nations are rational actors that act in their own interests. But rationality is constrained by culture and what may seem rational in Tehran may seem crazy-insane to the rest of us. Case in point: all of Iranian history since 1979.

Anyway, I agree that they'll probably be let go unharmed. And it's far more likely that Allah is right and that this is probably nothing more than a bunch of Iranian sailors working from the cuff and egged on by years of propaganda, but never completely write off the crazy. Especially when you're dealing with Iran.

If our resident Persian expert, GM, is around, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

UPDATE exctracted from the comments of Garduneh Mehr:

Thanks Dr. S., I don't know for sure but I suspect this transgression like the last one (mentioned above by Randman) has been committed by the naval branch of the IRGC (the idealogical terrorist army that's the mullah's main prop). And again I speculate that they've done this so as to dissuade the coalition from aggressively inspecting ships which would make it easier for the IRGC to smuggle arms and/or terrorists into Iraq. Looking at the bigger picture, it seems to me that the terrorist acts in Iraq are basically a proxy war conducted on behalf of the IRGC and the Mullahcracy's ministry of intelligence VEVAK. Ken Timmermann had a very insightful article on this recently. As for removing the gloves vis-a-vis the Mullahcracy, that is long long over due. There is one more thing I'd like to mention. These IRGC/Basiji types are basically thugs and bullies; when it comes to dealing with them one most forget all niceties and ceremonies and courtesies of international law because the IRGC/Basiji/VEVAK do not represent a nation. As they themselves will tell you, they represent an idealogy. In brief, I believe the Royal Navy ought to have made quick work of the f**kers.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:13 AM | Comments |