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Old 03-29-2007, 03:40 PM   #16
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No worries. I'll be nice. Let's move on.

Hopefully, these people will return to their homeland safe and sound.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:08 AM   #17
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When I see the ridiculous propaganda video that Iran keeps releasing of the prisoners, I can't help but think that it looks similar to video we see from terrorist organizations.

Iran is really making itself look quite foolish with this whole situation. I hope they come to their senses real quick.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
British-Iranian dispute enmeshed in tangled history

By Eoin O'Carroll
Christian Science Monitor, March 29


...In attempting to explain the actions, analysts have invoked everything from the country's nuclear standoff with the West, to stepped-up US actions against Iran, to a border dispute dating from the 17th century. Dr. Ali Pahlavan, the editor of an independent newspaper published in Tehran, told the BBC that he sees his country's actions as an attempt to rebuke Great Britain for its role in supporting a new UN Security Council resolution imposing fresh sanctions over Iran's refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program. The sanctions, which were approved unanimously the day after the arrests were made, banned all arms exports to Iran and froze the assets of several officials linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. "My understanding of the situation is that this could be a reaction to the UN sanctions which were passed two days ago... the revolutionary guards had promised that some sort of reaction would be forthcoming from Iran. The revolutionary guards are a very hard line, ultra-conservative wing of the regime who believe that the US and Britain need to be challenged in the Persian Gulf and in the Middle East... their interests need to be challenged in Palestine, in Lebanon, in Iraq and elsewhere. So this could be part of the strategy to challenge the British and American supremacy in this part of the world which is troubling. It could lead to confrontation and be a trigger and which could lead to escalation."

Other analysts seem to agree that the capture was planned in advance. Frances Harrison, the BBC correspondent in Iran, links the arrests to what she calls an "unusually aggressive speech" last week by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "[Khamenei] said: 'In case the enemies of Iran intend to use force and violence and act illegally, without a doubt the Iranian nation and officials will use all their capabilities to strike the invading enemies.' It was an oddly defiant and hostile tone to strike for a new year speech. One commentator, Sayeed Laylaz, has drawn a parallel with President George W. Bush's state of the nation address in January, which was followed immediately by a US attack on an Iranian office in Irbil in northern Iraq, and the seizure of five Iranians who are still being held by the US. ...Mr. Laylaz points out that the speech of Mr Khamenei was swiftly followed by the capture of the British sailors."

Some draw a more explicit link to the January raid in Irbil. Richard Beeston, the diplomatic editor of the Times of London, writes in an analysis that "privately there is acknowledgement that [the British sailors'] fate is bound closely to that of the Iranian captives seized by the US...Iranian officials speculated that the way to win the freedom of their comrades was to capture American or British soldiers and arrange a prisoner swap. Reza Faker, a writer for the Revolutionary Guards' newspaper Subhi Sadek, said: 'We have the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks.' Reza Zakeri, of President Ahmadinejad's office, said that capturing a Western soldier was easier than acquiring a cheaply made Chinese product."

Many analyses contrast the current crisis with a 2004 incident in which Iranians arrested eight British servicemen on patrol in disputed waters between Iran and Iraq. Those servicemen were released three days later, after making a televised apology for straying into Iran. Writing in the The Scotsman, an Edinburgh daily, Dr. Ali Ansari, the director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at St. Andrews University, says that the diplomatic landscape is more sensitive today. "Because this incident occurred on the eve of a crunch meeting at the UN to call Iran to account over its nuclear programme, tensions are much higher than in 2004. We are also dealing with an entirely different regime from the previous one under president Khatami, who favoured conciliation over confrontation. In contrast, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has clashed repeatedly with Western governments over his refusal to cooperate with inspectors over his nuclear programme."

For all the possible political motives, however, the main cause of the showdown could be a centuries-old dispute over the water border between Iran and Iraq. It began with the 1639 Treaty of Zuhab between the Persian and Ottoman empires, which divided the land without a careful survey. Disagreements through the 1980s, and some of the fiercest fighting in the eight-year war between the two nations, occurred along this border. The AP quotes Lawrence G. Potter, an associate professor of international affairs at Columbia University, who says that even to this day the exact demarcation has not been established. "The problem is that nobody knows where the border is," Potter said. "The British might have thought they were on their side, the Iranians might have thought they were on their side."
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:36 AM   #19
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It looks like there are quite a lot of rumors going around about this and we'll never know the truth. All I know is gas is up 20 cents per gallon on the 'speculation' something bad might happen. Someone is getting rich off of a phantom war that hasn't even begun. Wait and see IF it happens before you rip us off, mmmkay?
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnnRKeyintheUSA
It looks like there are quite a lot of rumors going around about this and we'll never know the truth. All I know is gas is up 20 cents per gallon on the 'speculation' something bad might happen. Someone is getting rich off of a phantom war that hasn't even begun. Wait and see IF it happens before you rip us off, mmmkay?
The price of oil is always way higher due to speculation on the Futures market.

But in the US it's still cheap
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by phanan
When I see the ridiculous propaganda video that Iran keeps releasing of the prisoners, I can't help but think that it looks similar to video we see from terrorist organizations.

Iran is really making itself look quite foolish with this whole situation. I hope they come to their senses real quick.
The US released quite a few images and videos of prisoners during the invasion of Iraq as well. Both sides play the game.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Gwynne Dyer: How to start a war - American style

Friday March 30, 2007
By Gwynne Dyer

"I don't want to second-guess the British after the fact," said US Navy Lieutenant-Commander Erik Horner, "but our rules of engagement allow a little more latitude. Our boarding team's training is a little bit more towards self-preservation."

Does that mean that one of his American boarding teams would have opened fire if it had been them in the two inflatable boats that were surrounded by Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast patrol boats off the coast of Iraq last Friday? "Agreed. Yes."

Just as well that it was a British boarding team, then.

The 15 British sailors and marines who were captured and taken to Tehran for "questioning" last week are undoubtedly having an unpleasant time, but they are alive, and Britain is only involved in two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If it had been one of Horner's boarding teams, they would all be dead, and the United States and Iran would now be at war.

Horner is the executive officer of the USS Underwood, the American frigate that works with HMS Cornwall, the British ship the captive boarding party came from.

Interviewed after the incident by Terri Judd of the Independent, the only British print journalist on HMS Cornwall, he was obviously struggling to be polite about the gutless Brits, but he wasn't having much success.

"The US Navy rules of engagement say we have not only a right to self-defence but also an obligation to self-defence," Horner explained. "[The British] had every right in my mind and every justification to defend themselves rather than allow themselves to be taken. Our reaction was, 'Why didn't your guys defend themselves?"'

So there they are, eight sailors and seven marines in two rubber boats, with personal weapons and no protection whatever, sitting about 30cm above the water, surrounded by six or seven Iranian attack boats with mounted machine guns.

"Defend yourself" by opening fire, and after a single long burst from half a dozen heavy machine-guns there will be 14 dead young men and one dead young woman in two rapidly sinking inflatables, and your country will be at war. Seems a bit pointless, really.

It's a cultural thing, at bottom. Britain has a long history of fighting wars and taking casualties, but the combat doctrines are less hairy-chested. British rules of engagement "are very much de-escalatory, because we don't want wars starting," explained Admiral Sir Alan West, former First Sea Lord.

"Rather than roaring into action and sinking everything in sight, we try to step back, and that, of course, is why our chaps were ... able to be captured and taken away."

That emollient British approach is probably why the Iranian Revolutionary Guard chose to grab British troops rather than Americans. It was obviously a snatch operation: the Iranians would not normally have half a dozen attack boats ready to go, even if some "coalition" boat checking Iraq-bound ships for contraband did stray across the invisible dividing line into Iranian waters, which the British insist they didn't.

But it was not necessarily an operation ordered from the top of Iran's Government. In fact, there is no single source of authority in Iran's curious system of "multiple governments", as one observer labelled the impenetrably complex division of responsibilities and powers between elected civilians and unelected mullahs. The Revolutionary Guards, who are quite different from the regular armed forces, have considerable autonomy within this system.

According to US authorities in Iraq, the five Iranian diplomats arrested by US troops in a raid in Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan last January were Revolutionary Guards, and it would seem that their colleagues want them back.

Kidnapping American troops as hostages for an exchange could cause a war, so they decided to grab some Brits instead. And it will probably work, after a certain delay.

In this episode, the American reputation for belligerence served US troops well, diverting Iranian attention to the British instead. In the larger scheme of things, it is a bit more problematic.

A quite similar snatch operation against the equally belligerent Israelis last July led to a month-long Israeli aerial bombardment of Lebanon and a retaliatory hail of Hizbollah rockets on northern Israeli cities. Well over 1000 people were dead by the end, although nothing was settled.

Any day now, a minor clash along Iraq's land or sea frontier with Iran could kill some American troops and give President Bush an excuse to attack Iran, if he wants one - and he certainly seems to.

If the Revolutionary Guards had got it wrong last Friday and attacked an American boarding party by mistake, he would have his excuse now, and bombs might already be falling on Iran. All the pieces are in place, and the war could start at any time.
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
But it was not necessarily an operation ordered from the top of Iran's Government. In fact, there is no single source of authority in Iran's curious system of "multiple governments", as one observer labelled the impenetrably complex division of responsibilities and powers between elected civilians and unelected mullahs. The Revolutionary Guards, who are quite different from the regular armed forces, have considerable autonomy within this system.
Doesn't the Revolutionary Guard answer directly to Khamenei?
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k

Yay! America bashing for something that didn't even happen!
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:29 AM   #25
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Originally posted by MrBrau1



Yay! America bashing for something that didn't even happen!
But it's so easy.
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:30 AM   #26
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Originally posted by ntalwar


The US released quite a few images and videos of prisoners during the invasion of Iraq as well. Both sides play the game.
Yes. It's the exact same thing.




You go Iran!
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:25 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Doesn't the Revolutionary Guard answer directly to Khamenei?
Pretty much, yeah, though that may be more true of certain branches of the Revolutionary Guard (e.g. intelligence and paramilitary) than others, and they do have their own commander-in-chief. But the paragraph you quoted doesn't seem very credible to me no matter how "autonomous" they tend to be--it's hardly likely that Khameini, and for that matter Ahmadinejad too, wouldn't have been informed in advance on an obviously planned hostage-taking which was guaranteed to have major international repercussions. If it's true, as has been reported, that the Irbil hostages are all Revolutionary Guard intelligence agents and one of them is even their intelligence ops director, then there's almost certainly something more than Revolutionary Guard comradeship motivating any intent on Iran's part to get a prisoner swap out of it.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:16 AM   #28
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Iran's President just said

he plans to release the UK soldiers. Just in from CNN, details emerging.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:50 AM   #29
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Wait - where's the orange jumpsuits?
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:36 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
If it's true, as has been reported, that the Irbil hostages are all Revolutionary Guard intelligence agents and one of them is even their intelligence ops director, then there's almost certainly something more than Revolutionary Guard comradeship motivating any intent on Iran's part to get a prisoner swap out of it.
Quote:
British Navy Crew Arrives in London

Thursday April 5, 2007
By COURTNEY FRENCH, Associated Press


LONDON--Fifteen British sailors and marines held captive for nearly two weeks in Iran arrived home Thursday, a day after the announcement of their release defused a growing confrontation between the two countries. The crew, dressed in fresh uniforms supplied to them before their arrival, lined up beside the plane as photographers captured their arrival. They smiled and many stood with their hands behind their back before boarding two military helicopters at Heathrow Airport.

Wednesday's announcement of their release in Tehran was a breakthrough in a crisis that had escalated over nearly two weeks, raising oil prices and fears of military conflict in the volatile region. The move to release the sailors suggested that Iran's hard-line leadership decided it had shown its strength but did not want to push the standoff too far. Iran did not get the main thing it sought--a public apology for entering Iranian waters. Britain, which said its crew was in Iraqi waters when seized, insists it never offered a quid pro quo, either, instead relying on quiet diplomacy.

Syria, Iran's close ally, said it played a role in winning the release.
..........................................................................
On Wednesday, Iranian state media reported that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet five Iranians detained by U.S. forces in northern Iraq. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said American authorities were considering the request, although an international Red Cross team, including one Iranian, had visited the prisoners. Another Iranian diplomat, separately seized two months ago by uniformed gunmen in Iraq, was released and returned Tuesday to Tehran. Iran accused the Americans of abducting him, a charge the U.S. denied. Those developments led to speculation that the release of the Britons had been connected to the events in Iraq. Both Iran and Britain denied any connection.
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