It hasn't gotten a lot of attention here lately, but the recent incident in which eight British servicemen on patrol in the Shatt al-Arab Waterway near the Iran-Iraq border were detained by Iranian authorities may soon turn nasty.
All eight British servicemen were eventually released, but not before being paraded around on Iran's state television in blindfolds like it was 1979. Iran is still convinced that they were up to no good. The servicemen say they were forced into Iranian waters. Iran says otherwise. And they are refusing to return the three British boats which, if the GPS equipment on board has not been damaged, would prove the Britons' contention that they are innocent.
This article in the Christian Science Monitor is very helpful in figuring it all out and is worth looking over.
Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram called the alleged treatment of the sailors "absolutely outrageous" and demanded a "full apology" from Iranian authorities if the servicemen's claims are true. He said the incident created "an extraordinary strain on Iranian-British relations."
"We were required to apologize for what appeared to have been trespassing into Iranian waters. Our servicemen were paraded blindfolded and humiliated. The equipment still has not been returned."
Iran has "a lot to lose" from the episode, Mr. Ancram said.
Yeah, I know. It's Bush's fault.