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Friday, March 23rd 2007

Update: British Marines In Iran

Check below (or hell, just check any online news service) for the original story. Word is now, as expected, Iran is claiming the Marines boarded a ship in Iranian waters. That is something the British captain denies. Time magazine throws some quick analysis at the situation.

The most ominous detail about Iran’s seizure of 15 British Royal Marines in the Shatt-al-Arab waterway on Friday morning is that the servicemen were reportedly taken into custody by the navy of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is a powerful, separate branch of the Iranian armed forces. Soaked with nationalist ideology, it has grown into a state within a state in Iran

Time goes onto how this resembles previous such incidents.

Because the IRGC’s actions are always interwoven with the religious-nationalist ideology of Iran’s hardliners, extricating the British may be complicated. The Royal Marines, assigned to HMS Cornwall, had been on an anti-smuggling procedure sanctioned by the U.N. but were apparently taken into custody anyway by Iranian naval vessels in the Shatt-al-Arab, a 120-mile stretch of salt marsh disputed between Iraq and Iran. It is the second such incident. In June 2004, Iran took eight British marines and sailors from their patrol boats, keeping them for three days, saying they had breached the maritme border. While they were held, the servicemen were paraded around blindfolded and forced to apologize on Iranian TV, before being released.

Everyone can agree this is an aggressive and basically evil country but I have no empathy for those who see parallels between American action and Iranian here.

God forbid a war or even a scuffle, but…