Monday, June 21, 2004

Iran takes British boats, holds crews hostage 

I liked my comment to LT Smash's post on this story so I decided to repost it here. Smash is right that "they probably have no clue as to the nasty can of worms they have just opened."

On to my comment:

The IRGCN (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy--read Smash for details) has been sporadically confrontational since Coalition maritime forces first showed up in the Shatt al Arab. This was bound to happen eventually.

But it's about the dumbest thing the Iranians could have done. They should be bending over backwards to avoid confrontation with the US and UK. Instead, they do this.

Iran will release the crews, and maybe the boats, and then they'll be in a greatly weakened position internationally. Unless, of course, they apologize profusely and publicly. This being the Islamic Republic, I wouldn't count on that outcome.

They just ratcheted up tensions, and they don't want the added attention right now, on top of what they're already getting because of their nuclear development and their ambiguous position in the war on terrorism. Perhaps the Coalition presence next door is making the Iranian mullahs nervous and this is the only way they have to try to look tough?

On a side note, what kind of Rules of Engagement were these Brits operating under? Details are scarce, but it doesn't sound like any shots were fired. I can understand the pressure of being the on-scene commander in a rapidly-developing international incident... but you don't just let yourself be taken.

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