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Navy Says It Fired Warning Shots At Iranian Boats

Navy Says It Fired Warning Shots At Iranian Boats

AP
January 12, 2007

The U.S. Navy said Friday that one of its ships fired warning shots at a small Iranian boat in the Strait of Hormuz in December during one of two serious encounters that month.

The USS Whidbey Island fired the warning shots on Dec. 19 in response to a small Iranian boat that was rapidly approaching it, said a U.S. Navy official.

“One small (Iranian) craft was coming toward it, and it stopped after the Whidbey Island fired warning shots,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

It was the first official confirmation that the United States had fired warning shots in any recent confrontation with Iran in the Gulf.

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Pentagon backs down over Iranian boat claims

Guardian
January 11, 2008

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Doubts intensified last night over the nature of an alleged aggressive confrontation by Iranian patrol boats and American warships in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, after Pentagon officials admitted that they could not confirm that a threat to blow up the US ships had been made directly by the Iranian crews involved in the incident.

Several news sources reported that senior navy officials had conceded that the voice threatening to blow up the US warships in a matter of minutes could have come from another ship in the region, or even from shore.

The concession came on the day that a formal American complaint was lodged with Iran over the incident, and just 24 hours after President George Bush, on tour in the Middle East where he will be discussing policy towards Iran, warned Tehran to desist from such aggression and said any repetition would lead to “serious consequences”.

The Pentagon alleges that the confrontation lasted about 20 minutes and took place in the Strait of Hormuz, where the US ships were in international waters. Five Iranian patrol boats swarmed around three US warships and came within a threatening 200 metres, prompting US personnel to be put on alert.

The US navy has said that its gunners came within seconds of firing on the speedboats.

On Tuesday, the US administration released video footage that it said showed the Iranian speedboats harassing the American vessels. A voice in English with a strong accent was heard to say: “I am coming at you – you will explode in a couple of minutes.”

Yesterday the Iranians put out their own four-minute video that showed an Iranian patrol officer in a small boat communicating with one of the US ships. “Coalition warship number 73, this is an Iranian navy patrol boat,” the Iranian said. An American naval officer replied: “This is coalition warship number 73 operating in international waters.”

The voice of the Iranian sailor in Tehran’s footage was different to the deeper and more menacing voice, threatening to blow up the warships in the US version. Nor was there any sign of aggressive behaviour by the Iranian patrol boats.

The Strait of Hormuz is a particularly sensitive stretch of water, both economically as a key shipping route for oil from the Gulf, and militarily. The location, together with memories of the arrest of 15 British sailors by the Iranians last year and their detention for two weeks, is likely to have heightened nerves on both sides.

But the mystery remains of where the voice that apparently threatened to bomb the US ships came from. The Pentagon has said that it recorded the film and the sound separately, and then stitched them together – a dubious piece of editing even before it became known that the source of the voice could not, with certainty, be linked to the Iranian patrol boats.

A post on the New York Times news blog yesterday from a former naval officer with experience of these waters said that the radio frequency used in the Strait of Hormuz was regularly polluted with interfering chatter, somewhat like CB radio. “My first thought was that the ‘explode’ comment might not have come from one of the Iranian craft, but some loser monitoring the events at a shore facility.”

Despite growing doubts about what happened, the Bush administration continued to stand by claims of Iranian hostility. The defence secretary, Robert Gates, said the concern came from the “fact that there were five of these boats and that they came as close as they did to our ships and behaved in a pretty aggressive manner”.

 

UN Inspector Scott Ritter: Fools would Bomb Iran

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XQan1qo8T4

Unraveling the Myth of Al Qaida – part 1
http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/5288

US, Israel on ‘same page’ on Iran
http://www.jpost.com/servl…pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Tehran: U.S. trying to spread ‘Iran-phobia’
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22632161/

Sarkozy says pressure on Iran should be increased
http://www.spacewar.com/2006/080113021646.jc7sqsp5.html
U.S. Navy Withdraws Claims Against Iran
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=38370&secti..351020101

Israel’s Netanyahu Claims President Bush Promised Unilateral Nuclear Bomb Attack Against Iran
http://presscue.com/node/38692

US Navy threat may not have been Iranian
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23036718-5005961,00.html

Bush in Kuwait to seek Gulf backing against Iran
http://rawstory.com/news/afp..king_01112008.html

Israel stressed to Bush that Iran is a nuclear ‘threat’: general
http://afp.google.com/article/A..RE_yzb8-U7MMaFg

Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ’02 War Game
http://www.nytimes.com/20..ogin&oref=slogin

Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=40747

Ron Paul: “People are looking around for an excuse to bomb Iran”
http://www.infowars.net/articles/january2008/110108Iran.htm

 



We’ll nuke Iran – Bush promises Israel

We’ll nuke Iran – Bush promises Israel

Presscue
January 10, 2008


US President George W. Bush promised Israel’s opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu that the United States will join the Jewish state in a nuclear strike against Iran, Israel Radio reported today.

Former Prime Minister Netanyahu, opposition Likud party’s hardline chairman who opposes the US-backed Annapolis peace process, reiterated to President Bush his stance, that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran’s nuclear installations was the only way to stop the Islamic nation’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

“I told him my position and Bush agreed,” Netanyahu told Israel Radio.

During their 45-minute meeting at King David hotel in Jerusalem Netanyahu also told Bush that “Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people and will remain under Israeli sovereignty for eternity.”

President Bush issued a stark warning to Iran over Strait of Hormuz incident, saying that “all options are on the table to protect our assets.”

“There will be serious consequences if they attack our ships, pure and simple,” Bush said during the joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. “And my advice to them is, don’t do it.”

Bush criticized those who interpret the National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003, as a sign that Iran was no longer a threat.

“Let me remind you what the NIE actually said,” Bush stold reporters. “It said that as far as the intelligence community could tell, at one time the Iranians had a military — covert military program that was suspended in 2003 because of international pressure. My attitude is that a non-transparent country, a country which has yet to disclose what it was up to, can easily restart a program.”

 

Israel: All Options On Table To Stop Iran

AFP
January 10, 2008


Israel is keeping all options on the table if economic and diplomatic pressure fails to halt archfoe Iran’s nuclear programme, Israel’s ambassador to the United States said on Thursday.

“In assessing the threat from Iran we see in sync and think similarly. Both America and Israel understand the severity of the threat, the implication of the threat if it grows,” Israel’s US Ambassador Sallai Meridor said.

He spoke a day after visiting US President George W. Bush met Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem at the start of his regional visit for talks that focused on the Islamic republic.

“Both the US and Israel would prefer seeing this threat removed through diplomatic-economic means without any need to take other steps,” he said.

Asked if a military strike was a realistic option, Meridor said “both the US and Israel haven’t removed any option from the table,”

“All options are on the table, not only in the future. They are on the table if we get to the point, and I hope we don’t get to the point, that diplomactic and economic preferred alternatives will fail to produce the hoped for results.”

International support for new sanctions on Iran has been waning since a US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in early December said that the Islamic republic had halted a nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

Israel considers the Islamic republic its main regional threat in the wake of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated statements for it to be wiped off the map.

Widely considered to be the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, Israel along with the US suspects that Tehran’s nuclear programme is a cover for developing atomic weapons, a charge Iran denies.