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Iran Detains 15 British Soldiers

Last Friday (March 23), eight sailors and seven marines aboard British naval vessel HMS Cornwall were conducting routine boarding operations of merchant ships in the Persian Gulf, attempting to crackdown on smugglers in support of UN Security Council Resolution 1723, when Iranian naval ships surrounded the vessel and detained the boat and crew.

Now, 15 British soldiers — 14 men and one woman — are undergoing interrogations at an undisclosed Iranian location, and lie at the center of a decisive political controversy. While British officials call for “the immediate and safe return” of their troops, Iranians are accusing the British of “blatant aggression,” but the genuine dispute exists with the numerous different accounts of location. British officials maintain that the HMS Cornwall was surrounded in Iraqi waters before forces led the ship into Iranian waters and detained the ship, while Iran claim the Brits were well inside their territorial seas, thus breaking international law.

Meanwhile, the outcome is hotly debated across the web. Some accounts place the soldiers as bartering tools for detained Iranians or as the scapegoat for military actions against Iran. What do you think will come of this international debacle?

Here’s what bloggers are saying about Britain’s situation with Iran:

“Tony Blair is no Winston Churchill, but he’s no Neville Chamberlain either. Let’s see if he has enough sack to stand up to the Hitler of Iran.” — Rightwingrebel,

“The Iranians are many things, but they are not stupid. The leadership of the country may be crazy by our standards, but it would be very, very foolish on our part to think that the action of capturing the British sailors was anything other than a calculated move which was conducted with a long-term goal in mind. The Mullahs and their frontman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, know that the support for the Iraq War is pretty much non-existent, especially in the cities of England.” — Mr. Geek,

“After all, Iran is only doing to Western soldiers in captivity what the U.S. has been doing to ‘enemy combatants’ since the war began. Then there’s a question of what kind of trial they might face. One in which their defense gets a chance to see all the evidence against them? Oh, wait…we don’t do that either.” — Wayne,

They’ve decided to kidnap British soldiers in hopes they can receive a number of the terrorists we have recently captured. I mean, after all, what are we going to do?” — Paul,

“U.S. troops would have fought with the Iranian guards.” — Ken,

“The British government is appalled that its boys (and one girl) have been captured, but they were not supposed to be there in the first place. It was an incident waiting to happen, that so far has not spun out of control to give the U.S. an excuse to launch the long-planned attack on Iran.” — Redfin,

Talk: What do you think will happen to the 15 British soldiers?