Skip to comments.Iran Dissidents: British Capture Ordered [Opposition Group Says Ayatollah Khamenei Ordered Capture]
Posted on 03/31/2007 8:33:43 PM PDT by jdm
LONDON Mar 31, 2007 (AP) An Iranian opposition group claimed Saturday that Iran's capture of 15 British sailors and marines was planned in advance and carried out in retaliation for the U.N. sanctions imposed against the country, as an Iranian diplomat said the case had entered a legal phase.
Gholam-Reza Ansari, the Iranian ambassador to Russia, made his comments to Russian television Vesti-24 on Friday and was quoted by IRNA on its Web site as saying, "the case of the detention of British sailors has taken on a judicial form."
IRNA originally quoted the ambassador Saturday morning as saying the sailors could be "tried if there is enough evidence of guilt." But the agency published a correction later claiming Ansari's comments were incorrectly translated by Russian television. The Russian TV station could not immediately be reached for comment.
Asked about Ansari's remarks earlier Saturday before IRNA reported that he was misquoted, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett urged Iran to resolve the crisis peacefully.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran the political wing of the Iranian MEK opposition group which is listed as a terrorist group by Britain, the U.S. and the European Union said the British crew's capture was planned in advance, but offered no evidence to support the claims.
The British sailors were detained by Iranian naval units March 23 while patrolling for smugglers near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab, a waterway that has long been a disputed dividing line between Iraq and Iran. Iran claims the Britons were in its territory; Britain and the Iraqi government say they were taken captive in Iraqi waters.
Iran appears intent on sending a message of strength as it faces mounting U.N. Nations sanctions over its uranium enrichment program, which the U.S. and other nations suspect the Islamic Republic is using to develop nuclear weapons.
Hossein Abedini, a member of the opposition group's foreign affairs committee, claimed the group had obtained information from sources within Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard and had passed details to the British government. He did not provide any evidence or give further details.
Britain's Foreign Office said it could not comment on Abedini's allegation, or say if it had evidence the operation was pre-planned. A spokeswoman said the MEK was a banned organization under British anti-terrorism laws meaning the government had no dealings with the group.
Abedini told a London press conference that an Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval garrison had been on alert from the night before the kidnapping, to prepare for the operation.
Mohammad Mohaddessin, who handles foreign affairs for the council, said in a statement that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had ordered the detention of the Britons in the hope of pressuring the British government over a threat to toughen U.N. sanctions.
"You can see that the clerical regime had in a premeditated act arrested British sailors in order to win concessions from the international community and divert attention from its nuclear project," Abedini said. "Claims that the sailors were arrested in Iranian territorial waters are baseless."
Britain's Foreign Office reiterated that the personnel "were in Iraqi waters and we continue to request immediate consular access to them and their immediate release."
Britain has frozen most contacts with Iran and referred the issue to the U.N. Security Council, which expressed "grave concern" on Thursday over Iran's seizure last week of the Britons.
Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami told reporters on Saturday that he hopes the current standoff will be resolved peacefully "instead of facing a new disaster not only for Iranian-British relations, but for Iran internationally."
I guess the Iranian dissidents forgot to Google "Gulf of Tonkin"
A senior British naval officer will leave for Tehran in efforts to negotiate an agreement with Iran for the release of 15 kidnapped British sailors, according to a report by the Sunday Telegraph. (Ynet)
THIS IS AN ACT OF WAR!!!
Are there no men left who will stand up for what's right?!
What world am I growing up into?
"Ministers are preparing a compromise deal to allow Iran to save face and release its 15 British military captives by promising that the Royal Navy will never knowingly enter Iranian waters without permission."
Note: They're 'captives' not hostages.
This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. By the way, has Hezbollah released that Israeli soldier yet?
I hate to say it, because I love the Britons, but what kind of military outfit surrenders to a bunch of thugs? First, the vaunted Israeli army lets Hezbollah eat their lunch, then the British can't muster the will to threaten military retaliation against a terrorist government, and now the U.S. Congress has issued its surrender to al Qaeda? who in the U.K. thinks that the way to deal with Iran is to pretend they give a crap about sanctions? Did the U.S. State Department all get jobs at 10 Downing? This is NUTS. These people WILL. NOT. STOP. Ahmadinejad has one immediate goal, and that's to control the shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf. After that, it's the conquest of Saudi Arabia. With a medium range nuclear weapon in his arsenal, he can hold Europe hostage and do what he wants.
This is not the time for everyone to go soft, but here we sit, sending special envoys to smooth over a tyrant. I fear greatly for the future. Greatly.
Or as the immigration treason lobby likes to call criminal illegal aliens - undocumentd entrants.
amen!!! i own a landscape company in massachusetts and I'm losing customers to ILLEGAL ALIENS who are here illegally working for ridiculously low fees. ALL illegals out NOW, and ENFORCE OUR BORDERS! america is selling out and falling apart FAST
But, but, but Rosie O said they were in Iranian waters and tried to get caught so the Brits could start WW3.
No, really, this is watching the end of western civilization. We don't care to preserve what we've created any longer. So, like others before us, we are relegating ourselves to stuff of dusty museums and college students who write theses on our rise and fall.
Same thing is happening in every city and town in the country. You are losing your business and American citizens are losing their jobs. But the worst part of it is America is losing its culture, heritage and freedom to massive hordes of invaders. Our children are losing their future.
Here where I live I can go down a major road and count at least a hundred or more of illegal aliens under bridges, overpasses, stop signs and shopping centers waiting for someone to pick them up for work. They even have signs for "Day Labor Pickup."
Illegal immigration has consequences.
"I fear greatly for the future---"
Do not fear---just read the Bible and know exactly where this world is headed---while I cannot tell you each and every move to come and the exact time they will happen, it is simple to understand what is to come to put an end to the wicked, sinful world we now live in---Keep the faith and you will lose any fears
What about the four or five senior Iranian military people missing in Turkey?
I still don't understand why they just didn't blow away those Iranians as soon as they were known to be unfriendly. Were they unarmed?
I read your bio - I am awe-inspired.
I know that God will take care of us, but it's still frightening to witness the wholesale submission of the West to an Islamic tyrant.
Gulf of Tonkin...LOL
I will tell you. Liberals will never get out of the 60s in their minds.
There is no submission.
Just wait and see. The Americans and the Brits are starting to get fed up.
You are an 84 year old WW2 Vet ! I always wanted to walk up to one of you guys, give you a giant bear hug and say thank you.
God bless you my brother !
I, too, want to express my awe at the things your home page says about your accomplishments. I also want to express my appreciation. Your generation was made of sterner stuff.