Beowabbit (beowabbit) wrote,
Beowabbit
beowabbit

About the recent incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, er, Strait of Hormuz

I don’t remember how I stumbled across rojonoir’s journal, but he posts some interesting stuff.

The reporting on the recent encounter between Iranian speedboats and American warships in the Gulf of Tonkin Strait of Hormuz that I’ve heard has struck me as really odd. Even after a day or two, when NPR was mentioning “questions about the accent” of the alleged Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers in the recording released by the military, and that the alleged threat was received on an open channel and not definitely coming from the speedboats, I felt like there must be stuff missing from the story.

Well, rojonoir has collected (and summarized) a couple of articles giving much more background about the incident, and yes, there’s been stuff missing from the coverage I’ve heard about this in the US media. Specifically,
  • No part of the Strait of Hormuz is in “international waters”, because it’s so narrow. The inbound traffic lane, where the US ships were, is entirely within Iranian territorial waters. There is, however, an international treaty granting all ships right of passage through the strait, provided they follow certain restrictions (like not collecting intelligence, and surfacing if they’re submarines). The US does not follow those restrictions, and has not ratified the treaty. (The linked article suggests that the US has not ratified the treaty because it doesn’t want to be bound by the restrictions it doesn’t like.)
  • The threatening statements received over the radio were probably from a known (albeit pseudonymously) prankster, who evidently broadcasts that sort of stuff all the time.
(rojonoir also reminds us of the tragic shooting down of Iran Air 655 by a US warship in the Strait of Hormuz, which doesn’t directly clarify the recent incident, but sure casts an interesting light on it.)
Tags: links, politics
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