Thursday, January 10, 2008

Iran disputes Hormuz Strait incident

Iranian footage of Sunday's incident

Iranian TV has released footage relating to Sunday’s incident in which a number of boats were said to have swarmed around US warships. The Iranian government has insisted it had not threatened the security of the coalition vessels, something that is disputed by US authorities. The footage [video], which lasts for some five minutes, aired on the international outlet of Press TV and extracts have been played on other media outlets including the BBC, CNN and Al-Jazeera. In the five minute segment one of those on board an Iranian speedboat is heard to say, “This is Iranian patrol boat to vessel 73 can you identify yourself?”. A reply is heard in which the voice identifies the vessel as “coalition vessel 73” and repeats that they are operating in international waters.

There is no mention of any of the previous threats outlined in earlier reports in which one speedboat pilot was heard to say “we are coming at you; you will explode in 3 minutes”. This footage had been ‘faked’ by the US according to Iranian authorities. Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said the incident was a normal identification request by the Iranian side. Brigadier General Ali Fadavi, an IRGC senior official, has said that the US vessels' registration numbers had been unreadable to the Iranian guards. He added that they had only approached to read identification numbers on the ships [Press TV]. Meanwhile George Bush who is currently on a Middle East tour, has called the incident ‘dangerous’ and said that Iran threatens world peace [CNN].

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