Posted by Curt on 23 March, 2007 at 10:30 pm. Be the first to comment!

The Iranians taking hostages has a touch of deja vu huh?

Iranian forces seized 15 British servicemen on Friday in the mouth of the waterway that separates Iran and Iraq, triggering a diplomatic crisis at a time of heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Britain said two boatloads of sailors and marines had searched a cargo ship in Iraqi waters on a U.N. approved mission when Iranian gunboats encircled and captured them. No shots were fired and the British servicemen were unharmed, officials said.

The incident came as U.N. Security Council members were putting the final touches to a resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear work. A vote on the resolution could take place as early as Saturday.

Walid Phares has posted his thoughts on this incident and it’s not good:

The capture of British Navy servicemen by Iranian forces is not simply an incident over sea sovereignty in the Persian Gulf. It is a calculated move on behalf of Teheran’s Jihadi chess players to provoke a "projected" counter move by London and its American allies. It is all happening in a regional context, carefully engineered by the Mullahs strategic planners. Here is how:

The Iranian regime’s master plan is to wait out the remainder of Tony Blair’s mandate (few more months) and the remaining "real time" of President Bush (till about the end of 2007). For the thinking process in Tehran, based on their Western consultants, believe that Washington and London have reached the end of the rope and will only have till 2008 to do something major to destabilize Ahmedinijad regime. As explained by a notorious propagandist on al Jazeera today the move is precisely to respond to the Anglo-American attempt to "stir trouble" inside Iran. Anis Naccash, a Lebanese intellectual supporter of the Ayatollahs regime, appearing from Tehran few hours ago on the Qatari-based satellite and "explained" that the "US and the UK must understand that Iran is as much at war with these two powers in as much as they support the rise of movements and security instability inside Iran." He added that Khamenei is clear on the regime’s decision to strike: "we will be at war with you on all levels: secret, diplomatic, military and other." Pro-Iranian propagandists in the region, via media and online rushed to warn that this movement is part of Iran’s counter-strike against any attempt to destabilize the regime. Two major tracks emerge from these statements, the Iranian military maneuvers and the capture of British Navy personnel.

  1. Iran’s domestic front is putting pressure on the Ahmedinijad regime.
  2. The regime "needs" an external clash to crush the domestic challenge.
    1. Engage in the diplomatic realm, to project a realist approach worldwide, but refrain from offering real results
    2. Continue, along with the Syrian regime, in supporting the "Jihadi" Terror operations (including sectarian ones) inside Iraq
    3. Widen the propaganda campaign against the US and its allies via a number of PR companies within the West, to portray Iran as "a victim" of an "upcoming war provoked by the US."
    4. Engage in skirmishes in the Gulf (and possibly in other spots) with US and British elements claiming these action as "defensive," while planned thoroughly ahead of time.
  3. The regime plan is to drag its opponents into a trap

Teheran’s master planners intend to drag the "Coalition" into steps in engagement, at the timing of and in the field of control of Iran’s apparatus. Multiple options and scenarios are projected.

    1. British military counter measure takes place, supported by the US. Iran’s regime believe that only "limited" action by the allies is possible, according to their analysis of the domestic constraints inside the two powerful democracies.
    2. Tehran moves to a second wave of activities, at its own pace, hoping to draw a higher level of classical counter strikes by US and UK forces. The dosing by Iran’s leadership is expected to stretch the game in time, until the departure of Blair and of the Bush Administration by its political opponents inside the country’s institutions and public debate.
[…]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.

Not good but something many of us have been stating aloud for quite some time, and an obvious tactic used by these jackasses before to great success.  Take hostages, force negotiations, get what they want. 

Will the world stand by and let it happen again?

Meanwhile Ed Morrissey notes that this isn’t the first such incident in recent memory:

As the British government demanded the immediate release of 15 of its sailors whose boats were seized by Iranian naval vessels in the Persian Gulf on Friday, U.S. News has learned that this is not the first showdown that coalition forces have had with the Iranian military.

According to a U.S. Army report out of Iraq obtained by U.S. News, American troops, acting as advisers for Iraqi border guards, were recently surrounded and attacked by a larger unit of Iranian soldiers, well within the border of Iraq.

The report highlights the details: A platoon of Iranian soldiers on the Iraqi side of the border fired rocket-propelled grenades and used small arms against a joint patrol of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers east of Balad Ruz. Four Iraqi Army soldiers, one interpreter, and one Iraqi border policeman remain unaccounted for after the September incident in eastern Diyala, 75 miles east of Baghdad.

As they told the world a few days ago, they will not be stopped….except by those who have the will and the courage to stop them:

Iran warned on Monday a new UN resolution against its disputed nuclear programme will face a "proportionate" response and that it was ready to pay the price for pursuing its atomic ambitions.

"Adopting new resolutions by the Security Council … will face Iran’s proportionate response," Abbas Araghchi, deputy foreign minister in legal and international affairs, said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors.

"Iran is completely ready for both paths of cooperation and confrontation and as there is a precedent for paying a price to preserve its independence and rights, it is now ready to pay these prices," he said.

Question is, do we have the courage?

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