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."
Remember this is the guy who with his 'jaw jaw not war war' kept the nazis busy While we built our airfields and our Spitfire's and Hurricanes, he allowed the development of various technical military advances ie Radar and sonar and most importantly approved the building of an integrated air defenses network that proved itself, exactly at the right moment in world history.
That 'guy' was an appeaser par excellence. Ask the Czechs what they think about Chamberlain.
And you might dwell on Sir Winston Churchill's wiser words when he said "You have chosen dishonor over war. And you shall have both."
I can't help but notice that they didn't attempt to capture any Americans. If they had, I sincerely hope we'd make them pay.
This just points out the bizarre nature of the Geneva Conventions. The bad guys just don't have to play because there are no consequences of just doing what ever they please.
Iran has never experienced consequences for their actions. This has always been justified by pointing to the possibility of "Moderates" fixing the situation. As long as I have been an adult nearly 30 years this same canard has paralyzed the West into inaction against the most egregious behavior. I just don't buy it anymore. Each time they don't pay an overwhelming price for such adventures, they see it as God's support for their evil. Whats the point in feeding that monster?
I think Blair and Bush need to Google "testicles"
What else can they do? There is no U.N. backing to invade Iran, and Britain will never do anything without that.
Watching the History Channel's recent specials on the Visigoths and the Vandals vs. Rome made it all too clear what our future is.
I have read it. It doesn't say anything about the United States. It doesn't give a timeline. It is no comfort at all given what is going on in the West.
THAT is what this is all about. It has nothing to do with sanctions.
You're an idiot. The Iranians took these sailors in an effort to fire up their pitiful street. Their media has shown these white devils 24/7 since they were kidnapped. It's the way the hairy asses do their business. This entire escalation of the last couple of years is all about provoking an attack from the west. The 70's revolutionaries in Iran are getting old and they want to engineer a confrontation with the west to bolster their standing with their ignorant street and restless youth. The rest will go along. Kidnap in the ME is like I dunno, a glorified act.
Has it ever occurred that we wage war on our terms? I am not talking about instigating war, I am talking about engaging in it when it is instigated upon us. This current incident with Iran, I pray for our Ally's in captivity, I also pray for cooler hands to prevail with measured response (note* Not restrained response, response that is appropriate to the situation).
Americans and Brits are exceptionally tolerant, but we do have a line. Has it been reached? For me it has, but then again, I no longer wear the uniform and trying to understand the position of those ordering the whoop ass that should be headed Iran's way, I would do everything in my power to set the stage to wage war on my terms, not on some 12th imam hoping suckers terms.
Right now, I think patience and a whole lot of spook work will set the stage for some soon to be homeless (and hopefully) bodiless mullahs.
You're preaching to the choir but while doing so, you clearly elevated the debate with your name calling.
Have a nice day!
Good post...things are afoot.
I suspect it was an effort to hasten Britain's withdrawal from the Mideast....just like bombing Spain right before their election hastened their surrender.
/sarc is useful. I do the same thing sometimes and assume the reader is in my frame of mind. No problem. If you were serious my comment would have stood.
Reminds one of the USS Cole does it not?
No problem friend. We are all frustrated when we see weak responses to threats!