Jump to content

Iran 'seizes' 15 British Marines

Recommended Posts

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Fifteen British Royal Marines on patrol in the Persian Gulf have been "seized" by the Iranian navy, the British Ministry of Defense said.

The personnel from the HMS Cornwall frigate were surrounded by Iranian navy vessels after completing a routine inspection of a merchant ship, the ministry said in a statement.

They were then escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian waters, it said.

The Marines were "engaged in routine boarding operations of merchant shipping in Iraqi territorial waters," the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

A U.S. military official who monitors the region told CNN the Marines stopped an Iranian ship suspected of smuggling automobiles, and boarded it for an inspection.

While the Marines were on board, six Navy ships from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard showed up and claimed the British had entered Iranian waters.

A dispute ensued over whether the Marines were in Iraqi, international, or Iranian territorial waters, and the 15 were then seized and taken to Iran, the U.S. military official said.

An Iraqi fisherman told Reuters the incident took place in the Shatt al-Arab waterway that marks the southern stretch of Iraq's border with Iran. His account could not be immediately confirmed.

The British ministry's statement said the Marines "completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian territorial waters."

The statement added: "We are urgently pursuing this matter with the Iranian authorities at the highest level and on the instructions of the Foreign Secretary, the Iranian ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign Office.

"The British government is demanding the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment."

There was no immediate word from Iran on the incident. CNN's Aneesh Raman in Tehran said there had been no mention of the incident on Iranian TV and calls to officials had not been answered.

The U.S. military official said the British Royal Marines are believed to be unharmed. It was not immediately clear where in Iran they were taken.

The U.S Navy in the Gulf said none of its military personnel was involved.

In 2004 eight British sailors and Marines were seized -- and later released -- by Iran after they crossed into Iranian territorial waters aboard three patrol boats by mistake.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing will be done. The librul panty-waists will cry out in London that they were too close and got what they asked for. Used to be a day when you unlawfully seized another country's soldiers, it was an act of war. Now it's just taunting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...