Fwd: Interesting story from News24

by subacati

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: aadilshah@vodamail.co.za
Date: 9 Jan 2008 18:16:14 +0200
Subject: Interesting story from News24
To: shahisqlueless@gmail.com

More news at http://www.news24.com
Read the story online:
Sent by: cjt

US 'fabricated' footage

Jan 09 2008 04:30:39:830PM

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have accused the US of fabricating
footage that's shows Iranian boats confronting US warships in the
Persian Gulf.
Tehran – Iran's Revolutionary Guards accused the US on Wednesday
of fabricating video and audio released by the Pentagon that shows
Iranian boats confronting US warships in the Persian Gulf.
The video from Sunday's incident shows small Iranian boats swarming
around US warships in the Strait of Hormuz. In the recording, a man
speaking in heavily accented English threatened, "I am coming to you.
… You will explode after … minutes".
"The footage released by the US Navy was compiled using file pictures
and the audio has been fabricated," the state-run English-language
channel Press TV quoted an official in the Revolutionary Guards as
State TV did not give the name of the Revolutionary Guard figure and
did not offer more details about how the official knew the footage was
A 'provocative' act
The Bush administration continued to denounce the incident as "provocative".
"This is a provocative act – not a smart thing to do, and they are
going to have to take responsibility for the consequences, if they do
it again," US President George W. Bush's National Security Adviser
Stephen Hadley told reporters on Wednesday aboard Air Force One as
Bush flew from Washington to Israel.
Hadley added that his comments should not be seen as a threat.
In the four-minute, 20-second video released on Tuesday, the Iranian
boats appeared to ignore repeated warnings from the US ships,
including horn blasts and radio transmissions, according to the video,
which was shot from the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper.
From the Hopper, after spotting the approaching Iranian boats, a US
Navy crew member says over the radio: "This is coalition warship. I am
engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law.
Intend no harm."
The audio and video recordings were made separately but were pulled
together by the Navy. Often uneven and shaky, the video condenses what
Navy officials have said was a 20-minute or so clash.
US 'mischief'
Iran's Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar on Wednesday called
Western news reports reporting that the boats threatened to blow up
the US warships "mischief".
"(Iranian) Navy units … asked them to identify themselves. They
responded accordingly and continued their path," the official IRNA
news agency quoted Najjar as saying.
He also reiterated previous comments made by Iran's Foreign Ministry,
downplaying the incident by calling it something that occurs normally.
"The identification of vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz
by Iranian Navy units is a natural occurrence," IRNA quoted Najjar as
"Islamic Republic of Iran Navy units always put questions to passing
vessels and warships at the Strait of Hormuz and they need to identify
themselves. This is in accordance with the normal procedures."
'Deadly serious'
But the top Navy commander in the Gulf has disputed Iran's claims
that the incident was a routine encounter, saying Iran's "provocative"
actions were "deadly serious" to the US military.
Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff said the Iranian fleet of high-speed boats
charged the US warships and threatened to blow up the Navy convoy as
it passed near but outside Iranian waters on Sunday. The Iranian fleet
"manoeuvred aggressively" and then fled as the American ship
commanders were preparing to open fire, he said. No shots were fired.
The confrontation was an unusual flare-up of US-Iranian tensions in
the Persian Gulf as Bush prepared for his eight-day Mideast trip
designed in part to counter Iran's influence in the region. Bush, who
arrived in Israel on Wednesday, is expected to discuss the US posture
toward Tehran with Arab allies also worried about Tehran's desire for
greater regional power.
Many Arab countries fear the Iranian-American rivalry could erupt
into a military confrontation that would put them in the crossfire and
hurt vital oil traffic through the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards has said that its high-speed boats never
threatened the US vessels during the encounter, insisting it only
asked them to identify themselves, then let them continue into the
Cosgriff, the commander of US 5th Fleet, which patrols the Gulf and
is based in nearby Bahrain, said the American vessels, which were
clearly marked, had been identified by Iranian authorities earlier in
the day.
The Pentagon has said the US ships were on the verge of opening fire
on the Iranian boats when they fled.

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