Iran has said that British naval personnel seized at gunpoint in the Shatt-al-Arab waterway had confessed to illegally entering Iranian waters.
"The investigation, and confessions that we have, shows they have been arrested in Iranian waters," an armed forces commander told state radio.
The 15 captured British naval personnel were today reported to have been moved to Tehran as Iran raised the stakes in the escalating diplomatic crisis.
Many pundits are wondering who is behind it. Why? Why now? What do they want? Westhawk makes the observation that the incident is manufactured and...
Naturally, it is a risky business to manufacture international incidents to cover up bad news elsewhere. Perhaps a different junior officer with the British boarding party, under slightly different circumstances, might have chosen to resist capture. In that scenario, the day could have ended with a surface naval engagement, an air strike on an Iranian naval base, and lots of blood and oil on the water. Next would come statesmen on all sides pondering what must be done to protect their nations’ prestige.
Senior leaders in Tehran must now be wondering what trouble their president will blunder into next. And whether he or Iran will be able to wriggle out from the next incident without gunfire and explosions. Military escalation, even if blundered into, plays right into the air and naval power dominance of the Americans. From this perspective, President Ahmadinejad may be America’s best friend and Iran’s walking time-bomb.
Blunder or purposeful. It is time to bite on the bait. Punish Iran and use some steel teeth.