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Iran Denies Harassing U.S. Warships

January 11, 2008 01:36 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Suspicions circulate in the press that Iranian hardliners provoked the United States in order to intimidate Gulf states and the domestic opposition. But some quarters suggest that the importance of the incident may have been exaggerated by Washington.

30-Second Summary

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The Iranian government said that last Sunday’s incident in the Strait of Hormuz involving U.S. warships and Iranian Revolutionary Guards patrols was just an ordinary naval encounter. Iran released footage to back up its position.

Washington, however, filed a formal complaint against Iran. President Bush said that there will be “serious consequences if they attack our ships.”

According to the U.S. version of events, Iranian boats sped toward the U.S. ships without identifying themselves and radioed, “I am coming at you; you will explode.”

Although analysts have already pronounced verdicts on the significance of the encounter, what actually happened is still in dispute.

U.S. military officials admitted Thursday that they could not establish with certainty that the threat came from the Iranian boats.
 
Even so, some analysts take it for granted that the incident was instigated by the Iranians, while others dismiss the media coverage as exaggerated.

Headline Link: 'Doubts Grow over Iranian Boat Threats'

Background: The incident and the Pentagon’s initial reaction

Iran denies incident was serious
The incident and the Pentagon’s initial reaction

Reactions: Gulf states are worried

Opinion: Why Iran might fake an attack

Analysis: War in the cards

Reference Material: The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

Related Links: Iran holds British navy personnel

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