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British sailors arrested at gunpoint by Iranian navy.

The US is holding over 300 Iranians and the Brits at least another 50. A swap of some kind will no doubt be offered up.

Toronto Star:


The charge against them is illegal entrance into Iranian waters

I don't think the Iranians are even interested in a trade or prisoner exchange. It's probably just a fringe benefit of the situation that they created. They look to be more interested in making a statement. Holding a kangaroo court, and putting these service members on trial. Typical Iranian, "thumbing your nose" at the rest of the world. 
I suppose the Iranians are quite capable of cutting off their nose to spite their face. ;)
Ahh... pride!
What people and countries won't do in the name of pride is truly mind boggling
US troops 'would have fought Iranian captors'
By Terri Judd in Bahrain Published: 26 March 2007
Article Link

A senior American commander in the Gulf has said his men would have fired on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard rather than let themselves be taken hostage.

In a dramatic illustration of the different postures adopted by British and US forces working together in Iraq, Lt-Cdr Erik Horner - who has been working alongside the task force to which the 15 captured Britons belonged - said he was "surprised" the British marines and sailors had not been more aggressive.

Asked by The Independent whether the men under his command would have fired on the Iranians, he said: "Agreed. Yes. I don't want to second-guess the British after the fact but our rules of engagement allow a little more latitude. Our boarding team's training is a little bit more towards self-preservation."

The executive officer - second-in-command on USS Underwood, the frigate working in the British-controlled task force with HMS Cornwall - said: " The unique US Navy rules of engagement say we not only have a right to self-defence but also an obligation to self-defence. They [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?'"

His comments came as it was reported British intelligence had been warned by the CIA that Iran would seek revenge for the detention of five suspected Iranian intelligence officers in Iraq two months ago but refused to raise threat levels in line with their US counterparts. The capture of the eight sailors and seven marines - including one young mother - will undoubtedly renew accusations that Britain's determination to maintain a friendly face in the region has left its troops frequently under protected.
More on link
GAP said:
he was "surprised" the British marines and sailors had not been more aggressive.

..... Our reaction was, 'Why didn't your guys defend themselves?'"

There wasn't much of anything the Marines/Sailors would have been able to do to defend themselves from the Iranian ships.  Aside from sidearms, the Brits were largely unarmed, and very much out-gunned by the Iranian vessels.
    Right ,the Brits were very lightly armed,could it be that this inability to defend themselves was,as I
pointed out in an earlier post, due to stupid, politically driven ROE?.
time expired said:
     Right ,the Brits were very lightly armed,could it be that this inability to defend themselves was,as I
pointed out in an earlier post, due to stupid, politically driven ROE?.

Politics don't have anything to do with the arms carried by individual Boarding Parties. There could have been Marines carrying elastic bands or howitzers (pending they got bigger boats), and the politics wouldn't interfere with the ROE the Brits were acting under.
What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter what size guns the BP was armed with, the ROE would have allowed, and the politics wouldn't interfere.

Seized sailors are 'fit and well'

The 15 Royal Navy personnel who were seized four days ago are fit and well, Iran has told the Foreign Office.
A senior Iranian official told the UK's ambassador in Tehran that the Britons were being held in Iran but would not disclose their exact location.

He said Iran was "working to resolve the matter as soon as possible".

Iran says the Britons could be charged with illegally entering Iranian waters, although both Iraq and the UK insist they were in an Iraqi area.


British ambassador Geoffrey Adams was assured that the eight sailors and seven marines were well during an hour-long meeting on Monday with Ebrahim Rahimpour, a senior official at the Iranian foreign ministry in Tehran.

HMS Cornwall's area of operations
Mr Rahimpour agreed to stay in close touch with the British embassy but declined to say what plans Iran had for their release, according to a statement from the Foreign Office.

The Iranian state news agency IRNA said Mr Rahimpour told Mr Adams that the 14 men and one woman could face legal proceedings.


Actually, I am surprised it took this long for Iran to pull such a stunt. Such acts simply play to the masses in Iran and hopefully distract the population from the UN sanctions brought on by the policies of the Iranian government. Iranian leaders probably have little concern for 'global' opinion and feel secure in the knowledge that we need their oil anyway.

Unfortunately, populist, bullying scenarios rarely play out well for the reigning dictatorship (eg., Argentina, Afghanistan, Panama, Libya, Iraq, etc.) as they tend to escalate into big messes if the 'bluff' is called by Western nations.

I hope Diplomacy will win out, but doubt Iranian leaders want it to until they have extracted every ounce of propaganda they can. This is assuming somebody smart is in charge.
If the full diagram from T6's posting is anything approaching correct, there wasn't much direct-fire chance from the HMS mother ship to the IRN boat.  Then again, media, correct? ::)
milnewstbay said:
If the full diagram from T6's posting is anything approaching correct, there wasn't much direct-fire chance from the HMS mother ship to the IRN boat.  Then again, media, correct? ::)

I'm having trouble with the diagram though. Why couldn't Cornwall maneovre into position to provide cover fire? Is it a case of too shallow or the distances were more than they appear on the diagram? How could these patrol boats have come so close and the Brits not aware that they were threatening their pers? Was there radio contact? There are just so many unanswered questions and that diagram just confuses me more than answers any questions.
I think the comment of the USN Capt. are quite significant,the Americans whatever their faults
seem to put the protection of their troops above everything else when configuring their ROEs,
this does not always seem to be the case with the Brits.Northern Irland is full of cases were Brit.
soldiers deviated slightly from the ROEs in selfprotection and were subsequently hung out to dry
by the politicians.Even in Iraq there have been a few such case of troops insufficiently armed to
safely carry out their taskings,the case of the 4 MPs in the police station is a  case in point.The
ROEs did not allow them to operate in a robust enough manner to insure their own protection
and, as I stated in a couple of previous posts, that I think that ROEs were also a contributing factor.
I mean sending troops only armed with side arms into such a potentially dangerous situation
is just asking for trouble IMHO even without the Iranians.
The comments by the Americans also seem to be a warning to Iran. "Don't try it with us"
So what are you suggesting time expired? That boarding parties carry a Karl G or something like that? They'r armed lightly because of what they'r doing. Small arms up to MAG58 (C6) are all a boarding party would be able to pack. The American comment is not only daft, its stupid and dangerous. If your in an inflatable boat, your biggest armament being twin MAG58, and your surrounded by superior forces with superior firepower what is the only option? You give up. Its cut and dry, dead simple. The "puss" did the right thing here, the only thing they could do. They didnt want to escalate the situation and it really does show the difference in the British way of doing things (ie, logic and smarts) as opposed to the American way of thinking ("Hoo-AH"). I reckon you put a US navy boarding party in the position of the Brits and they'll do the same thing, they'll surrender.
Some RHIB's have AGL's - and BP's can have 203's  -- not ideal -- but they will hole a vessle and can make the crew think twice.

  The issue comes down to the man on the ground (or sea  ;D) at that time and place -- whether or not they feel that acquising at the time will work better for them in the long run.  Myself - I'm a big fan of shooting my way out of things, its a lot easier to "negotiate" when your armed - once you surrender your weapons your options are zero.

Hale -- I've worked with a bunch of Aussies - and to a man -- they had the same mentality as I for shooting our way out of things -- BigRed can attest to that.
It's not just a RHIB full of boarding members with MP5's and 9mm's.  We have to keep in mind that the actual ship had to have been close by when this happened.  I was deployed to the Persian Gulf twice on two different ships.  We were always in visual contact with RHIB, and we were always monitoring our sensors for any other vessels that may have been in the area.
Here is an interesting point of view.


Its easy to speculate and I doubt we will ever know all the facts, but the last thing we need is a war with Iran.
Short of having a remake of "custer's last stand", the 15 soldiers & sailors certainly had limited options.  Without the Cornwall there to provide immediate direct support, without a gunship in the air acting like a sheepdog, the IC party certainly had limited options - none of them good.

Let's see some politicians start pulling their weight & get their a$$ in gear.
With respects to getting Politicians Arses in gear.......

Is there not Iran Air flights from Tehran to London's Heathrow Airport, still being made on a daily basis? A government run airline, still being allowed to make these flights  into and out of the UK. And how many other NATO countries, that have also said these sailors and marines need to be released, also host daily flights from Tehran to their respective capitals. France and Germany come to mind.

And expelling the Iranian Diplomat out of the UK. Probably not a wanted course of action, to diminish your lines of communication, but something to be considered.

Could these be effected in the "New Phase" as Tony Blair puts it?