Hmm, this peaceful Iranian Government, "Alianzator of Civilizations" has KIDNAPPED 15 Navy Sailors who were fulfilling their duty in Iraqi sea waters: they were inspecting a ship looking for terrorists and weapons. They were captured at gun point and blinfolded. There are several women among them. All of them had been transferred to Teheran to be questioned. The Iranian ambassador has been convoked twice to Foreign Office.
Of course, Iranian authorities have said that they were in Iranian waters and this morning Iranian authorities have said that they had confessed being in working in Iranian waters. To judge this, you can see this map:
or in this other one:
or this other one:
Navy sailors have conducted routine checks on that waters for some time and no one had disputed them before.
Things are even more complicated because:
a) today UN Security Council is prepared to debate about Iranian sanctions on nuclear project, where Ahmadinejad wanted to appear but has suspended his intervention and presence there. Anyway, Ahmadinejad had already stated that any UN resolution would be a "torn paper".
c) the Guards who captured the Navy Sailors weren't normal Guards, they are elite guards belonging to "Pasdaran", the Guards of the Republic.
d) there are repeated attacks to US-led forces reportedly made by Iranian forces. Precisely, there are sources who consider the possibility of Iran planning the seizure of the British sailors in orden to exhange them with some Revolutionary Guards who are held in Iraq after attacking coalition forces. More on Captain Quarter's Blog. More here. There are reports that point Iranian Al-Quds force as the group training Iraqi death sqauds.
Two weeks ago there were reports of two Iranian officers missing: Col. Amir Mahmad Shirazi and Brigadier General Mahmad Soultani, commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps in the Gulf region. The official newspaper of the Corps accused Israel and the US of kidnapping the two and threatened to kidnap American and Israeli officers and to "throw them in the cockfighting arena". "Iran is on the defense", stated yesterday Nicholas Burns, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs, who also mentioned that Russia's refusal to supply uranium for the Bushar nuclear reactor, as well as the tightening economic sanctions on Iran, proves that "international pressure is working". It is worth mentioning that the Bush administration has decided to undermine the current Iranian government, and that the reports of mass desertions/defections (sorry, same word in Hebrew) of senior officers could be part of the psychological war waged against the ayatollah regime. In addition, a German news agency reported, quoting Novosty (Russian news agency), that the US is poised to attack targets located in Iran in two weeks' time. This information is based on Russian military experts' analysis, who claim that Washington has already decided to launch the attack on Friday, April 6th, and that within ten hours different types of missiles (including cruising ones) will pound 20 nuclear facilities in Iran. Also to be attacked are the central command of the Iranian army, Revolutionary Guards, and Iranian Navy bases, in order to prevent Iran from blocking the Straights of Hurmuz.
g) Britain had also stated that they wanted to revive nuclear pact to curb Iranian nuclear ambitions. And had announced they were going to present a tougher resolution over Iranian program. Apparently, France agreed with that because French PM, Dominique de Villepin, who was visiting the United Nations, said: "These sanctions are not aimed at the Iranian people. They are strong messages aimed at the Iranian leadership." French nuclear carrier Charles de Gaulle and task force are now on Arabian Sea.
According to PAF [original in French],
US and European diplomats have stated that the new sanctions should probably include a prohibition to travel for the Iranian responsibles of the nuclear program and adding more materials and nuclear technologies to the list of the ones that Iran cannot import nor export.
[...] The idea of a total weapon embargo is abandoned as Russia is opposed to it.
PAF asks why on earth no one is talking about pointing the embargo to Iranian oil. I guess they are all a bit worried about the oil price.
h) Iran has also protested about the US film 300, in which the Persian King is not very positively portraited. They have the film prohibited in Iran as "US propaganda". This has been denied on two counts: firstly, there is no present propaganda warfare against any Islamic state -although it should be I add- and any good influence -decorative arts, literature, culture, no slaves...- which Persian empire and civilization had on the world, was overturned because of the Islamic rule.
Victor Davis Hanson: But how odd! The Islamic Republic believes that history started in the 7th century with Islam, so why all of a sudden are they harkening back 1100 years to infidel Persia? h/t O Insurgente.
MyPetJawa: Silly Mahmoud, it's not "300" that makes your country look savage. It's kidnapping diplomats. And denying the Holocaust. And trying to develop nuclear weapons for jihad. And threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. And supporting brave jihadi babyhunters...
j) Iran had already forbidden the entry to Natanz nuclear compound to the UN inspectors from IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).
k) first it was reported that Russia had announced Iran it will withhold nuclear fuel for Iran's nearly completed Bushehr power plant unless Iran suspends its uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council. Then it was denied.
l) at the same time, the President of French -and public- oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, 55, and two directors, were summoned on the orders of Philippe Courroye, a judge who last year placed him under criminal investigation in a case involving Iraq. That concerned the company's suspected payment of bribes to aquire supplies in the UN Oil-for-Food programme in 1999-2003. According to Le Monde, a total of €60 million had allegedly been paid to Iranian officials up to 2003, including sums paid into accounts controlled by a son of Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former Iranian President. But Chirac has named Courroye procureur de Nanterre, even against the unfavorable view of the Judges' Supreme Council, so he can't be condemned.
m) Iran has sentenced to death to an Iranian intelligence general, accusing him of "with American forces and providing them with details on the deployment and activities of the al-Quds unit and Iranian military intelligence operatives. He was also accused of providing the Americans with classified documents, photographs and maps related to Iran's nuclear program and armed forces" h/t CUANAS.
n) Switzerland is forgetting about being neutral and supports nuclear Iran.
o) this happens when the teachers are still on strike (photo: right).
It is very interesting the post by Walid Phares in Counterterrorism Blog in which he considers how this move is caused by the end-of-mandate of both Bush and Blair and the need Ahmadenijad has of an external crush to diminish the influence of the important demonstrations oppositors of the regime are doing.
In a short conclusion the "War room" in Tehran has engaged itself in an alley of tactical moves it feels it can control. But the Iranian regime, with all its "political chess" expertise, may find itself in a precarious and risky situation. For while it feel that it can control the tactical battlefield in the region and fuel the propaganda pressure inside the West with its Petro-dollars, it may not be able to contain the internal forces in Iran, because of which it has decided to go on offense.
The Ahmedinijad regime wishes to crumble the international consensus to avoid the financial sanctions: that is true. But as important, if not more, it wants to be able to crush the revolt before it pounds the doors of the Mullahs palaces.
You can read Counterrorism Blog: Iranian Captures of British Navy Personnel: Intentional Provocation or Local Decision? h/t Noisy Room.Net, Iran: Targeting the US-UK alliance h/t Noisy Room.Net. Also FullosseousFlap's Dental blog, Gateway Pundit, CUANAS, A Blog for All, Atlas Shrugs, EURSOC, Le Guerre Civile, Flopping Aces, Mensa Barbie, Infidels are Cool, Tigerhawk.
UN backs tougher sanctions on Iran. In fact, the ones mentioned above: block Iranian arms exports and freeze the assets of individuals and companies involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programmes. The vote has being unanimous.
Iran says that Ahmadinejad could not go to speak at UN because USA did not give him a VISA!!!
Hard-line Iranian student groups called on the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not to release the 15 until U.S forces freed five Iranians captured in Iraq earlier this year and the U.N. Security Council dropped plans for sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. About 500 Iranian students gathered on the shore of the Shatt al-Arab and shouted slogans such as "Death to Britain" and "Death to America," the Fars News Agency reported.
Italiano: Il Corriere della Sera.
Una foto d'archivio di un gommone di marines britannici impegnato in un pattugliamento nel Golfo Persico (Afp)
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