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Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Last week Iran was at odds with the international community over its nuclear program and this week Iran has detained eight British sailors who were mistakenly about 1000 meters inside of Iranian territorial waters as they were delivering three unarmed patrols boats to Iraq's new Riverine Patrol Service as the port of Umm Qsar. Full story here.
The incident happened on the Shatt-al-Arab waterway which runs along the border between Iran and Iraq. The British Foreign Office is down playing a link between last week's tension over Iran's nuclear program and the detainment of their sailors. But if you ask me, it looks looks like a calculated move by the Iranians. They see the coalition bogged down in Iraq and realize they can get away with a little more than they usually could.
The British sailors were shown on Iranian television and are being questioned as to why they were Iranian territorial waters. No access to the men has yet been granted to British officials. This statement was released from Al-Alam television,
"The vessels were 1,000 meters inside Iranian territorial waters. The crew have also confessed to having entered Iranian waters, they will be prosecuted for illegally entering Iranian territorial waters,"We can expect the Iranians to be royal pains in the rear for now and the foreseeable future, as the Mullahs are scared to death of seeing Iraq turn into a powerful Muslim democracy. As you can imagine, the Mullahs don't want Iranians to see the living standards of Iraqis flourish under freedom, that would be a very bad thing for them.
Update @ 10:08 AM
For a good article by Michael Ledeen about Iranian intentions, click here.
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