Associated Press reports:Â
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s state television aired new video Sunday showing two of the 15 captured British sailors pointing to a spot on a map of the Persian Gulf where they were seized and acknowledging it was in Iranian territorial waters.
Britain’s Foreign Office immediately denounced the video, saying it was “completely unacceptable for these pictures to be shown on TV.” The captives first appeared on appeared on the state-run Arabic- language TV channel Al-Alam in separate video clips looking relaxed in military fatigues and pointing at the same map of the Persian Gulf. They were talking to a camera but the channel did not air their voices. Two state-run Farsi-language TV stations later carried their voices along with the video.
This is an important point to Iran, by getting Britain, or British representatives to acknowledge those waters as Iranian, they extend their claim.Â Aggressive Islamist states and terrorist organizationsÂ base theirÂ actions almost always on ways to extend their territory. If it’s non-Islamic territory, as with Israel, then they are happy to do so, but really don’t mind taking from Islamic neighbors either. Disputes over the Shat-al-Arab waterway were one of the reasons leading to the original Iraq-Iran war.
What should the response be?
Full time martial patrol of the edge of the REAL border by US Naval forces, since the Brits are in a tough spot with their sailors held hostage. By patrolling and showing the flag, we actively display that the waters are not Iranian. It would be helpful to have Iraqi flagged vessels patrolling the border as well.
This is the same ploy used in the Straits of Hormuz when US forces escorted ships in international waterways Iran was trying to claim.Â
If this were done it would pull the teeth from the claim they are trying to extend by this gambit. It would not however aid in getting the sailors back.
In other news Germany’s Chancelor Merckel has stated that “Britain has full EU support,” and Italy also froze an Iranian bank Friday.