The Scotsman outlines some of the behind-the-scenes action as the British government tries to gain the release of the sailors:
Â After a day of shadow-boxing with a notoriously slippery regime, Tony Blair is set to up the ante: the plight of the Shatt al-Arab 15 is officially a crisis and he will need the Cobra team to handle it.
The clutch of VIPs will gather in an operations room several floors below Downing Street as early as this afternoon to plot an escape from a military spat that now threatens to become an international incident.
The decision came just 24 hours after the crew of HMS Cornwall had been caught in the confusion of direct confrontation with Iranian vessels in the searing heat of the Gulf.
As the crew members were surrounded in their two rubber dinghies, the Cornwall’s commander, Commodore Nick Lambert, frantically radioed back to his own top brass for instructions.
The response to the inquiry, which had been immediately patched through to Ministry of Defence headquarters in Whitehall, was to hold fire.
UPDATE: Please stop by Gateway Pundit for latest analysis on the location of the sailorsÂ
I would wager that they will not withhold fire the next time this occurs, as it is strike two for these scenarios against the Brits.
Meanwhile Iran says the sailors have `confessed,’ from IRNA, state run press in Iran:
Deputy Commander in Chief of Armed Forces General Staff by confirming arrest of 15 British sailors by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) naval forces in Iran’s territorial waters on Friday March 23, 2007, said the sailors were under interrogation and have confessed violating Iranian territorial waters.
According to Armed Forces Media Department report on Saturday, General Ali-Reza Afshar said,” the arrest shows our forces’ readiness to defend the country at all times.”
Deputy in Cultural Affairs and Defence Advertisement said repeated threats of enemies have caused promotion and growth of country’s defence abilities adding the US and its allies know if they make a mistake in their calculations over the issue of invasion of Iran, they would not be able to control the dimensions of that miscalculation.
He pointed out the US was hopeful to end imposed war against Iran (by Iraq) in six days, but it took 8 years and Iraq was finally defeated too.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini had already condemned illegal entrance of British forces into Iran’s territorial waters and called it a suspicious act and against international law and regulations.
15 British sailors were arrested on Friday morning by Iran’s naval force in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
They were arrested in Arvandroud area in the northern coast of the Persian Gulf.
More at Outside the Beltway
7 thoughts on “Kidnapped British Sailor update”
The Iranians can’t get away with kidnapping soldiers in international waters, this is an act of war. This is a grave mistake and should be dealt with accordingly.
I agree, the situation is escalating. Keep in mind that the Iranians started Naval War Games last Thursday, and the US now has two carriers in the gulf also conducting wargames that started today.
I am reminded of the scene from Hunt for Red October when Fred Thompson as the Captain of the Aircraft Carrier outlines the potentials for mishap when two navies are in close proximity.
It seems to the world that anyone who is biritish can be treated how they like because the government will not back them up.They should have been allowed to defend themselves against what was an illegal detention.The problem could have been resolved with some resistance and back up,now it will go on for weeks and be an international incident.Many brits are fed up with the iranians getting away with incidents like this time after time, part of the reason why the iranians repeatedly do this type of kiddnapping is they know we will not fight back.I am very dissapointed with those who have been captured.That girl is wearing a headdress,she should not,she is a sailor & should refuse it is her duty.Also it seems she has admitted that she was trespassing.It may be that she was forced to say this ,but our gov should react.
I understand what you are saying, but I am not going to judge the individuals in this case. They were in rubber dinghys with light arms confronted by multiple gunboats with heavy arms. They radioed back to ship, which was distant, and were told not to fire.
There was a helicopter as back up,why was it not used,why did back up not arrive? They sat in a rubber dinghy like a load of yobs,they are not allowed to smoke.Many things can be laid at the door of the brits, questions should be asked of them,we are far too weak.This does not deflect from the fact that it was a despicable act by despicable people,who will never face the justice they deserve.
The helicopter was sent, but they were in Iranian waters by time it arrived. Had it been American, I have little doubt that there would have been an exchange of fire, and folks exchanging fire with American troops generally stop quickly due to lack of capacity to continue .
Why didnt the Americans help?
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