Iran: Looking at the Detained British Sailors’ Crisis Differently

The Iran-UK maritime crisis, which erupted after the arrest of 15 British sailors by Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf on March 23, has become one of the top stories in the international media. The British and Iraqi governments say that British soldiers were in Iraqi waters doing a routine ship control when they were arrested. The Iranian government, however, insists that the British soldiers trespassed into Iranian waters.

The crisis was given a new dimension when Iranian TV began showing footage of leading sailor Faye Turney wearing a headscarf and reading a letter of apology for illegally trespassing in Iranian waters. The story goes on and so does the crisis. You can follow the development of the crisis in photos here.

Some have drawn cartoons about this standoff, many wrote articles and some were inspired to become really creative.

A déjà vu repentance story

Haji Kensigton [Fa] discusses the British sailors’ letters of apology and their criticism of war. What British citizen, he asks with skepticism, would actually believe that his/her countrymen had a change of heart about the war in just six days after serving in the army for about ten years and serving in Iraq for four?

The blogger sarcastically argues that a proposition by a Hezbollah students group to execute the sailors is more humane than forcing them to write repentance letters. Please execute them, he concludes with dark irony, and let Ahmadinejad write the letters himself.

Azarmehr reminds us that:

ever since the 1979 Islamic takeover of Iran, we have become accustomed to Iranian dissidents and opposition or those who have fallen out of favour with the establishment, to appear on state TV and recant the crimes they have been accused of. So much so, that these state TV appearances have very little credibility with Iranians. Thats why I have as much faith in Leading Seawoman Turney's letter being voluntarily written as her Islamic headscarf being of her own choice.

High price to pay for Iran

Jomhour [Fa] says it seems military adventurists also want to control country’s diplomatic and political managment, but adds that the situation apparently developed with Ahmadinejad’s agreement. Jomhour also describes the demonstration organized by a few Basiji students in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They asked Iran to cut diplomatic relations with the UK and to send the sailors to trial.

Security forces who repress peaceful demonstrations of women activists or teachers or workers did not touch these demonstrators. People say that the slogans of these Basiji students were so radical that even foundementalist Fars News did not broadcast them.

Omid Memarian [Fa] says he does not know why this event happened but that all these stories and articles published in Western media will only enforce the voices that say Iran can not be a deterrent and that it must be controlled. Memarian writes that many compare this event to the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran where American diplomats were taken hostage for 444 days.

Between conspiracy and irrationaliy

Karriz [Fa] touches on the internet's favorite theory: the conspiracy theory. He writes that according to some, this may be a trap by British forces to instigate military action. Was it normal for the UK to ask the United Nations to condemn Iran? According to the blogger, 43 percent of British people now support military action to liberate the arrested servicemen.

Mr. Behi writes that neither one of the governments should expect the other to accept the proposed position of the boats by the other. The border line with Iraq and Kuwait has been a major dispute for a long time in Iran. This Iranian administration, says Mr. Behi, is not very rational. These guys who are surrounding us are not that rational either.


Shahrah Edalat [Fa] says Britain has always been hostile towards Iran and the blogger asks why a few years ago the reformist government reopened the UK ambassy in Tehran. According to the blogger British diplomats have a reputation of being spies. Edalat suggests that it is now time for revolutionary government to put an end to Iran-UK diplomaic ties.

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