Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Iran Briefly Detains US Naval Personnel Operating Illegally in its Waters

Iran Briefly Detains US Naval Personnel Operating Illegally in Its Waters

by Stephen Lendman

Fars News reported Iranian military forces seized two small US naval vessels on Tuesday, detaining 10 crew members - “trespassing (provocatively three nautical miles within) Iran’s territorial waters.”

Pentagon and State Department officials made dubious claims about one boat experiencing mechanical problems, contact lost with both vessels before entering Iranian waters.

Washington spies intensively on Iran, both vessels likely involved in surveillance, conducting operations illegally in Iranian waters, caught red-handed. GPS devices taken from crew members confirmed their illegal presence in Iranian waters.

On Wednesday, Fars News reported Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issuing a statement, saying “it has released the US marines and their vessels in international waters” after determining no harm done by entering Iranian waters.

Crew members were treated humanely. “The Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes.”

The IRGC blamed Washington for “excited and unprofessional moves,” saying it prioritizes regional calm.

John Kerry was in contact with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. He requested a formal apology, Kerry extending it, according to Fars News.

On Wednesday, Iranian Armed Forces' Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said “(w)e hope the incident…which will not probably be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, will be a lesson to (US congressional members) seeking to sabotage” last year’s nuclear deal.

He stressed Iranian vigilance in confronting provocative regional moves. Following the seizure of US vessels, Iranian naval commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said “the US Navy and (a nearby) aircraft carrier resorted to unprofessional behavior as well as aerial and seaborne provocations in the area, which were deflected through the IRGC’s timely action.”

“Any country’s territorial waters are where the presence of vessels should come with prior notification and permission.”

IGRC forces acted responsibly, calm restored in short order. Washington considers global waters its own.

Last October, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter asserted America’s right to “fly, sail and operate” anywhere it wishes globally, governed solely by its own rules, risking world peace and stability.

Provocations repeat with disturbing regularity. Was Tuesday’s incident the result of a mechanical problem as Washington claims or a spying mission caught red-handed?

Iranian authorities diplomatically downplayed it, choosing calm over confrontation - polar opposite how America operates.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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