Iran says US video was fabricated
Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 11:55 GMT
Iran's Revolutionary Guards say the US navy fabricated evidence that a convoy of its ships was harassed by Iranian speedboats in Gulf waters on Sunday.
The US has released grainy footage, apparently showing small boats speeding near the American warships.
In an audio recording, an Iranian radio operator appears to say "I am coming at you; you will explode".
The Iranian parliamentary speaker has dismissed the affair as being part of a US propaganda campaign against Tehran.
"The footage released by the US Navy are file pictures and the audio has been fabricated," Iranian state-run TV quoted a Revolutionary Guards source as saying.
The US Pentagon says the American ships were about to open fire when the Iranian boats withdrew.
US President George W Bush described the incident as "provocative", adding that it was a "dangerous situation" that should not have happened.
The video, said to be shot from the bridge of the USS Hopper in the Strait of Hormuz, appears to show the small boats racing near the wake of the US ships and crossing close to each other.
One boat is shown in close-up - a blue speedboat with at least two crew.
After spotting the approaching vessels, a Navy crewman can be heard over the radio, warning them they are approaching a coalition warship.
"Request you establish communications, identify yourself and state your intentions, over," he says.
He refers to "five unidentified small surface" boats, and the ships' sirens can be heard in the background.
The four-minute video condenses what US officials have described as a 20-minute stand-off.
At the end of the US recording, the screen goes black and the remainder is in audio only. Some of the communication is unclear.
The US issues a final warning that if the boats do not change course immediately they will be "subject to defensive measures".
The speedboats, believed to belong to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, came within about 200m (650ft) of the US vessels, Pentagon officials said.
The weekend stand-off happened in a major oil shipping route, in what the Pentagon insists were international waters.
Iranian officials earlier played down the event, calling it an "ordinary occurrence".
An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said: "This... happens for the two sides every once in a while and, after the identification of the two sides, the issue is resolved."
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The main thrust of the present articles around right now seems to be that the US is over-inflating what happened and skewing it to use it as an excuse to attack.
There doesn't seem to be a consensus anywhere right now of what actually occurred and what it means.
You know, this is exactly what they want. They already know that we are divided here, politically, so why not throw doubt into the mix and add more division in this country. IF we don't start standing together here, this country is going to topple! Good god, now days, all they have to do is deny, and we all start thinking conspiracy.
What some folks are simply 'not getting' is that merely being within 200 yards of a warship in open waters is an agressive act.
In the other thread some very naive people are already insinuating that the US is somehow trying to conjure up another 'gulf of tonkin' scenario.
I heard the theory that the Iranians may be playing games with oil prices.........any confrontation in that area immediately tends to push it up.
I cannot believe that the Navy commander showed so much restraint.......almost too much restraint. I dont want them in a position to have to take hits before they can defend themselves. Blow those ######## out of the water the next time they come that close..........I will live with the price of oil.
Our government is corrupt and full of lies. This is a fabricated attempt to scare voters, and also comes at the same time as Bush's trip TO ISRAEL.
ARE WE REALLY THIS STUPID?! (Or perhaps all of the members are made up by gov't. insiders and you're all watching me).
No, I don't understand or know the protocols. I was asking - is it protocol to blow anyone up who does what they did or is it protocol to try to resolve it peacefully?
I'm glad they did resolve it peacefully and no one was injured. Hopefully it wasn't a "checking it out" first run in preparation for a "real" attack in the future.
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