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  • Boat Drama: What If These Were Iranian Boats in US Waters?

    Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:23

    Boat Drama: What If These Were Iranian Boats in US Waters?

    TEHRAN (FNA)- News media outlets parroted statements coming from the State Department on the US boats that ‘drifted’ into Iranian waters, however, adding their own drama to the story in terms of describing how Iran dealt with the situation as an “aggressor”.

    As soon as the news was out, US media condemned Iran’s interception of the US naval boats that infringed its waters as an “aggression”, even when Washington said it did not regard the Iranian conduct as such, Ahtribune said in an article.

    The Iranian government quickly said that these ships had entered Iranian waters without permission, and were still inside Iranian territory when detained; a statement which the US government itself seemed to acknowledge.

    “Mechanical failure”, “boat distress” and “inadvertently drifted” made almost all US news stories at the beginning.

    For instance, CNN’s Barbara Starr immediately went on-air quoting “anonymous” US governmental sources as stating “We are told that right now, what the US thinks may have happened, is that one of these small boats experienced a mechanical problem...perhaps beginning to was at that point, the theory goes right now, that they drifted into Iranian territorial waters.”

    Reuters said that the “boats may have inadvertently drifted into Iranian waters” and “another US official said mechanical issues may have disabled one of the boats, leading to a situation in which both ships drifted inadvertently into Iranian waters.”

    But that version of the story did not last long; another account emerged later as the New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said on Thursday that the crews of two American patrol craft had “misnavigated” when they came within a few miles of Farsi Island, where Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has a naval base. According to Carter’s story the Riverine Command boats were not in distress.

    The Riverine Command Boat (RCB) is a watercraft designed to patrol rivers and other shallow water, fully equipped with GPS systems, radars, sensors and weaponry. Their speed and small size makes them useful for patrolling busy waterways such as the Persian Gulf and protecting larger navy ships.

    During the second day, there was news about the boats taking a shortcut for a refueling rendezvous, after they were running out of fuel.

    Later, after the release of the sailors, US media outlets stated that they were forced by Iran to apologize and say they were being treated properly.

    Journalist Glen Greenwald wrote that “Two days later (and after Tehran released all ten US sailors) Washington had completely changed its story, leaving more questions than answers.”

    Greenwald made a good point as he wrote "This unauthorized trespass into Iranian territorial waters was continuously depicted as an act of Iranian aggression (contrast that with how the US government suggested it would be in Turkey's rights not only to intercept but to shoot down any Russian jet that even briefly traverses its airspace).”

    The US anti-Iranian fever was flowing through social media as soon as the news was out. “Iran toys with US days before we pay them, ridiculously, billions of dollars. Don't release money. We want our hostages back NOW!” tweeted GOP’s Donald Trump.

    “While President Obama is complaining about global warming 10 of our American sailors are held in Iranian custody,” Ben Carson sarcastically commented.

    John McCain for his part wrote “Ten American sailors have been "arrested," taken into custody in #Iran.”

    Senator Ted Cruz also said he was “horrified to see the sight of 10 American sailors on their knees with their hands on their heads.”

    The 10 sailors on the boats did not report the navigational error to their superiors before they were taken by the Iranians. Less than a day after the sailors were detained on Wednesday, they and their vessels were back safely with the American fleet.

    In contrast with the typical claims by US media that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are hard-liners and rough, it is clear that they did not mistreat the sailors even before they understood what had happened. What they did was not against international norms either; every country has the right to patrol and defend its territorial waters and intercept other nations’ military boats that enter without permission.

    Iran made clear that the reason the sailors were kept overnight was because it happened too late on Tuesday for them to be returned that night. US media outlets also referred to the incident as a “humiliation” to the US administration and the sailors, even though there was no maltreatment from the Iranians.

    The US boats did enter Iranian waters without permission, but Iran did not mistreat the sailors rather manifested hospitality and proper behavior. Humiliation is Abu Ghraib, where US officials and soldiers would torture and humiliate people nude, and take photos of them. A quick internet check would give clear examples; such as the infamous photo of a pyramid of naked, green-hooded men with two grinning American soldiers in the prison.

    The question in fact should not be about how Iran dealt with the situation. The question should rather be: if the scenario was exactly the reverse, and it was Iranian boats that had “mistakenly” drifted into US waters what would have happened?
    Last edited by Gonjeeshk; 01-23-2016, 03:57 PM.

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