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Poll

So, is this the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident that gets Iran invaded?

Yes
- 1 (6.7%)
Probably
- 2 (13.3%)
Possibly
- 3 (20%)
Not LIkely
- 5 (33.3%)
No
- 4 (26.7%)

Total Members Voted: 4

Voting closed: April 27, 2007, 11:48:06 AM


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Author Topic: Iran's "Gulf of Tonkin" Incident?  (Read 1247 times)

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wtfk

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Iran's "Gulf of Tonkin" Incident?
« on: March 28, 2007, 11:48:06 AM »

(Of course, something's probably fishy, as with the Gulf of Tonkin incident--we'll probably find out one day that it was bogus.)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070328/ap_on_re_eu/british_seized_iran_94

LONDON - Iran said a female British sailor seized with 14 other crew members would be released Wednesday or Thursday, softening Tehran's position by suggesting their boats' alleged entry into Iranian waters may have been a mistake.

Iranian state TV also said it would soon broadcast video showing the 15 British sailors and marines who were captured last week. British diplomats said Iran had previously promised not to parade the captives in front of television cameras.

Britain said it was freezing most contacts with Iran until it freed all the crew members, and the British military released what it said was proof its boats were within Iraqi territorial waters when they were seized.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki discounted the possibility of an escalation in the crisis, suggesting the British vessels may have made a mistake.

"This is a violation that just happened. It could be natural. They did not resist," he told The Associated Press.

"Today or tomorrow, the lady will be released," Mottaki said Wednesday on the sidelines of an Arab summit in the Saudi capital, referring to sailor Faye Turney, 26, the only woman among the 15.

The Iranian Embassy in London also said: "We are confident that Iranian and British governments are capable of resolving this security case through their close contacts and cooperation."

Britain's military said its vessels were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters when Iran seized the sailors and marines on Friday.

Vice Adm. Charles Style told reporters that the Iranians had provided a position on Sunday a location that he said was in Iraqi waters. By Tuesday, Iranian officials had given a revised position two miles east, placing the British inside Iranian waters a claim he said was not verified by global positioning system coordinates.

"It is hard to understand a legitimate reason for this change of coordinates," Style said.

Style gave the satellite coordinates of the British crew as 29 degrees 50.36 minutes north latitude and 048 degrees 43.08 minutes east longitude, and said it had been confirmed by an Indian-flagged merchant ship boarded by the sailors and marines.

Mottaki denied this, saying, "That's not true. It happened in Iranian territorial waters."

Britain and the United States have said the crew was intercepted after completing a search of a civilian vessel in the Iraqi part of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, where the border between Iran and Iraq has been disputed for centuries.

Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons that "there was no justification whatever ... for their detention, it was completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal."

"We had hoped to see their immediate release; this has not happened. It is now time to ratchet up the diplomatic and international pressure in order to make sure the Iranian government understands its total isolation on this issue," Blair said.

Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said she had suspended bilateral talks on all other issues with Tehran until the 15 were released. Visits by officials will be stopped, issuing visas to Iranian officials suspended and British support for events such as trade missions put on hold, her office said.

"No one should be in any doubt about the seriousness with which we regard these events," Beckett told the House of Commons.

Beckett said Britain had now begun a "new phase of diplomatic activity," following Iran's failure to release the sailors and marines, or allow British officials access.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal had offered support, Beckett said.

Blair said he believed the crew acted sensibly in not putting up a fight after being confronted by six Iranian vessels.

"If they had engaged in military combat at that stage, there would have undoubtedly been severe loss of life. I think they took the right decision and did what was entirely sensible," Blair said.

In Iran, the announcement by a newscaster on Al-Alam satellite TV on the planned broadcast of the video of the captives did not specify when it would be shown. Al-Alam is an Arabic-language, Iranian state-run television station that is carried across the Middle East.

Iran had promised British officials in talks that it would not show the sailors on television as it did with a group captured in 2004 a senior British foreign office diplomat said earlier Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with British government rules.

Iran has said the 15 were being treated well, but refused to say where they were being held, or rule out the possibility that they could be brought to trial for allegedly entering Iranian waters.

In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said the Britons were being treated well.

"They are in completely good health. Rest assured that they have been treated with humanitarian and moral behavior," Hosseini told the AP.

In talks with Mottaki, Beckett demanded that British diplomats be allowed to meet with the crew to make their own assessment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Iran's behavior was "fully unacceptable" and assured Britain of its full support in negotiations to win their release.

"The EU finds it fully unacceptable that 15 British troops have been captured and detained by Iran. We extend our absolute support and solidarity with Britain on this issue," Merkel told the European Parliament

___

Associated Press Writer Slobodan Lekic contributed to this report from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 12:05:47 PM by wtfk »
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YixilTesiphon

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Re: Iran's "Gulf of Tonkin" Incident?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 02:53:45 PM »

I have no reason to believe that this is contrived - that seems like it would be quite difficult to do, what with Iranian sources reporting that it happened as well.

Really, I think Iran is just playing along in the brinksmanship game.
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And their kids were hippie chicks - all hypocrites.

cerpntaxt

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Re: Iran's "Gulf of Tonkin" Incident?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2007, 03:44:07 PM »

Yeah right
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Iran's "Gulf of Tonkin" Incident?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 10:00:01 PM »

It's not a good thing.  For two nations that are supposed to be at the negotiation table, this is quite the provoke.  I don't think its a Gulf of Tonkin incident, though.  It would be hard for us or the Brits to arrange for Iranian hostility. 
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wtfk

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Re: Iran's "Gulf of Tonkin" Incident?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 11:28:07 PM »

I have no reason to believe that this is contrived - that seems like it would be quite difficult to do, what with Iranian sources reporting that it happened as well.

Really, I think Iran is just playing along in the brinksmanship game.

From what I've read, the first Tonkin attack wasn't contrived.
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