Iranian speedboats threaten US ships.

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  • #26
drankin
I've got some great vids from my time in the Navy I should post on YouTube. Lots of gun shoots, missile firings, and I even edited and set a bunch of flyovers to music.
Throw me a link sometime. I'd love to see them.

The IRG might want to take a look see as well.
 
  • #27
russ_watters
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'what would cause those negative repercussions?'- if a US navy ship was attacked, it would have drawn a violent reaction to iran.
Maybe you just didn't understand my initial point, but that makes no sense whatsoever.
'The fact that Iran is already considered a rogue nation means that behaving like a rogue nation won't reduce their status'- i dont know what protections you envision "rogue nation" status offers iran while attacking an american ship in international waters,
You just said it!
attacking a US ship would also draw a lot of scorn from china and the rest of the international community whom would be pressured to withdraw support and protection from a violently assertive nation.
Iran already has the scorn of the international community, so the attack wouldn't change that. And China doesn't really care about international scorn either.
 
  • #28
BobG
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That is correct. This can only be considered "news" if one takes for granted that the US owns the world. The US complaining about being harassed (assuming the US media/government's appraisal of the incident is accurate) by Iranians off the coast of Iran is like the US complaining about Iran supporting militants in Iraq. One has to take for granted that the US owns the world, otherwise there would be nothing to complain about. What would the reaction be in Washington be if Iran had been threatening the US for years & then sent their navy ships past the east coast?
About the same as US reaction to Soviet ships off the coast of the US in international waters during the cold war? Or about the same as Soviet reaction to US electronic reconaissance planes flying along its coasts during the cold war?

As long as the ships are in international waters and the planes in international airspace, there's not much you can legally do to them.

The news also isn't that Iranian boats were somewhat close to US ships. It was the ship's behavior and the remembrance of the USS Cole that made Navy ships nervous.
 
  • #29
Art
Legally, the American ships would have been perfectly justified in doing so. But as you can see, even doing nothing while Iran's navy does illegal things produces a negative reaction against the US! The absurdity is overwhealming.
I'm confused by your post. Why would the US be legally entitled to sink Iranian vessels who are also exercising their right to sail in international waters or do you think only the US have this right?

When a Chinese submarine surfaced in the middle of a US battle fleet recently I don't remember the same indignation and boasts of how kind the US were not to sink it.

Are there different international laws and standards depending on the countries involved.

From a neutral viewpoint this attempt to portray the US as the innocent victim of harassment by a bully is laughable given the huge presence of US forces placed in the area with the sole intention of intimidating Iran.

Still it seems to be playing well in the US, so as a piece of propaganda it seems to be serving it's purpose in stopping people from focusing on the recent intel report that Iran is NOT developing nuclear weapons which makes one wonder why the US carrier group is still there in the first place.
 
  • #30
kroni3us
I'm confused by your post. Why would the US be legally entitled to sink Iranian vessels who are also exercising their right to sail in international waters or do you think only the US have this right?

When a Chinese submarine surfaced in the middle of a US battle fleet recently I don't remember the same indignation and boasts of how kind the US were not to sink it.

Are there different international laws and standards depending on the countries involved.

From a neutral viewpoint this attempt to portray the US as the innocent victim of harassment by a bully is laughable given the huge presence of US forces placed in the area with the sole intention of intimidating Iran.

Still it seems to be playing well in the US, so as a piece of propaganda it seems to be serving it's purpose in stopping people from focusing on the recent intel report that Iran is NOT developing nuclear weapons which makes one wonder why the US carrier group is still there in the first place.
ART," what dont you dont understand" Yes it was in international waters, boats, ships, trawlers, barges can travel anywhere they feel fit, BUT you had 5 speedboats armed with machine guns and POSSIBLY bombs speeding towards Military ships, in a erratic manner , Any country including Russia,China,India,Iran. any country would have done the same thing or sunk the ships. with terrorism in the world today If you were responsible for a thousand men and women would YOU take a chance and welcome them for lunch .. come on Im so sick of the Ignorant ANti american views that people speak without any thought at all, just using the hatred of America that is bred in them.
 
  • #31
Art said:
When a Chinese submarine surfaced in the middle of a US battle fleet recently I don't remember the same indignation and boasts of how kind the US were not to sink it. [...]
My thought too. Another event in this vein was that case of Russian bombers overflying an US carrier somewhere near Japan.

Anyway, there isn't much to debate here.

What are the maritime laws in international waters -- is there an exclusion zone around a ship, that when breached by a ship from a foreign nation, allows the original ship to take any action whatsoever, including total obliteration of the intruder?

Assuming that such an exclusion zone does exist -- just assuming, I have no clue -- then whether US warships responded kindly or did exactly what they were obliged to do, is a simple matter of whether those boats crossed the zone or not.

Assuming that such an exclusion zone does not exist -- just assuming, I have no clue -- then the US warships had no choice but to hold their guns until an undoubtedly hostile action is taken by the imbound boats, since there is no state of war between the nations in question. I assume a hostile action could be defined as the boats opening fire towards US warships, or keeping heading and speed at which the collision is no longer avoidable. I further assume that intercepted vague radio chatter cannot constitute hostile action.

--
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
 
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  • #32
mheslep
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I'm confused by your post. Why would the US be legally entitled to sink Iranian vessels who are also exercising their right to sail in international waters or do you think only the US have this right?

When a Chinese submarine surfaced in the middle of a US battle fleet recently I don't remember the same indignation and boasts of how kind the US were not to sink it.
I don't know. Did the Chinese sub radio "prepare to explode" after it surfaced? Its just a question.
 
  • #33
EnumaElish
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What are the maritime laws in international waters
Apparently the correct legal term is the Law of the Sea; see http://www.answers.com/topic/united-nations-convention-on-the-law-of-the-sea?cat=biz-fin:

Law Encyclopedia said:
The term law of the sea appears similar to the term maritime law, but it has a significantly different meaning. Maritime law deals with jurisprudence that governs ships and shipping, and is concerned with contracts, torts, and other issues involving private shipping, whereas the law of the sea refers to matters of public international law.

vs.

Admiralty law (also referred to as maritime law) is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans. It is distinguished from the Law of the Sea, which is a body of public international law dealing with navigational rights, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters and international law governing relationships between nations.
(The 2nd paragraph from http://www.answers.com/topic/admiralty-law?cat=biz-fin)

Part of the issue is the naval status of the Revolutionary Guard vessels: they do not belong to the regular Iranian Navy. Does this fact give the U.S. a legal right to treat them as, essentially, private vessels? And, since they appeared to be armed, can they expect to be treated differently from pirates? This is a marked difference between this incident and the Chinese boat incident, as in the latter case the vessel clearly belonged to a navy.
 
  • #34
seycyrus
I'm confused by your post. Why would the US be legally entitled to sink Iranian vessels who are also exercising their right to sail in international waters or do you think only the US have this right?

When a Chinese submarine surfaced in the middle of a US battle fleet recently I don't remember the same indignation and boasts of how kind the US were not to sink it.

The Chinese sub knew it was in an area that could get it obliterated. It chose to peacefully surface rather than submit to the risk.
 
  • #35
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There is a huge difference between a submarine surfacing and a gunboat racing towards your ship.
 
  • #36
EnumaElish said:
Apparently the correct legal term is the Law of the Sea [...]
Much abliged for the correction :)

EnumaElish said:
[...] to treat them as, essentially, private vessels? And, since they appeared to be armed, can they expect to be treated differently from pirates?
Indeed, I forgot to take this into account. Reading the article again, I cannot at all see any positive identification of the boats in question -- they are "believed to belong to the Iran Revolutionary Guard".

Thus, legally one can in fact say that the US commander on the scene was confronted with unknown armed vessels of unknown intentions, and any law should be applied to that scenario instead. The fact that Iran's authorities later responded such that, apparently, some relation between those boats and institutions of Iran is claimed, does not change the situation at the scene.

And, really, it is interesting if someone could provide any legal definitions pertaining the circumstances under which a ship can be considered "pirate", and what actions are allowed to taken in such case.

For example, as far as I have understood, American laws are pretty liberal as to the possesion of small firearms by its citizens. A ship in international waters is considered to be the territory of its respective country. Thus, a bunch of American civilians on a yacht in international waters have an undisputed right to be each armed with a firearm, and to visibly carry them around on the deck. Nevertheless, it would be logical to me that such a vessel cannot be considered "pirate" on the face of it, regardless of the fact that if the yacht is fast, they are quite capable of pirate actions? Perhaps it has something to do with caliber, e.g. handguns are fine, tripod-mounted machineguns not?

--
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
 
  • #37
Cyrus said:
There is a huge difference between a submarine surfacing and a gunboat racing towards your ship.
Indeed, if we look at the "danger" perspective, there is a huge difference. Submarine surfacing in the midst of the battle group means that it was shadowing the battle group just minutes earlier, whick makes it a whole lot more dangerous than ad-hoc armed speedboats racing towards a destroyer-sized warships.

But I don't see the "danger" point as relevant here, instead I think EnumaElisha really put the situation into correct perspective: what kind of boats the commander could have assumed those were, and what kind of legal actions were at his disposal?

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Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
 
  • #38
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I dont see how thats 'more dangerous' than an ad-hoc armed speedboat racing towards a destroyer. Perhaps you can explain that point.

Last time I checked, the Chinese did not go around blowing up our ships. But ad-hoc ships in the middle east have.
 
  • #39
devil-fire
Maybe you just didn't understand my initial point, but that makes no sense whatsoever. You just said it! Iran already has the scorn of the international community, so the attack wouldn't change that. And China doesn't really care about international scorn either.
how i interpreted your original point was that Iran would have not have to have dealt with any consequences if they attacked the American ships because they are a rogue nation and that even if they did have to deal with those consequences, it wouldn't adversely influence them because they already have no respect for human life.

to this i responded that the consequences would be devastating regardless of their rogue status and that you classifying Iran as a rogue nation has no bearing on IRG's decision to attack or not to attack the US navy, since they know that such an attack would have devastating consequences, both in terms of the safety of their people and in terms of the legitimacy of Iran's situation in diplomatic matters. china and Russia might support Iran's right to nuclear energy, but they wouldn't support Iran's right to attack American ships. no one would.

China may not be making radical changes to the labor laws when the USA claims them to be lacking, but China's relationship with the USA would sour if they defended Iran at the UN after such an attack on American ships. obviously, it would be a waste for China to support Iran in a situation like this.
 
  • #40
seycyrus
Indeed, if we look at the "danger" perspective, there is a huge difference. Submarine surfacing in the midst of the battle group means that it was shadowing the battle group just minutes earlier, whick makes it a whole lot more dangerous than ad-hoc armed speedboats racing towards a destroyer-sized warships.
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
Regarding the submarine issue. it was more along the lines of ... Chinese sub submerges, shuts off all systems, lies dormant, and waits for US fleet to pass. US fleet gets close, and Chinese sub decides to reveal itself with a tiny victory rather than press the issue further and risk being obliterated.

As to the OP. The US coimmander would have been within rights to blow those ships out of the water.

What would kirk have done to a group of Romulan ships that was rapidly approaching, not responding to hails, and was beaming out a message that said "Prepare to explode"? :)
 
  • #41
Cyrus said:
I dont see [undetected Chinese submarine in firing range to a carrier] 'more dangerous' than an ad-hoc armed speedboat racing towards a destroyer. Perhaps you can explain that point.
Last time I checked, China is not exactly considered an American ally, and is in possesion of a lot of nuclear ordnance; that submarine, especially if armed with nuclear-tipped torpedoes, was in position to seriously weaken American presence in the Pacific theater, in opening move of whatever.

An ad-hoc armed speedboat could do no more damage than visibly unarmed speedboat for that matter, namely that of around 10-30 dead servicemen and one destroyer in need of tugging.

However, I think that you were asking this in lieu of your second paragraph:

Last time I checked, the Chinese did not go around blowing up our ships. But ad-hoc ships in the middle east have.
This argument is void. I'm quite sure that there is nothing under international law that will allow a warship commander to act on his own assumptions on the intentions of unidentified vessels (unless perhaps if these can be legally declared "pirate"). Based on prior events in the nearby waters, the commander can be personally worried more or less, but that's his private matter.

Stressing again that this makes no difference at all for commander's legal options, I've nothing against musing a bit about what he may have privately thought. Clearly, the issue here are not machinegun mounts on the boats, but the possibility that a suicide strike is imminent. I'm guessing that the commander was never seriously concerned about that. Suicide strikes come as inconspicuous as they can make it, not from a bunch of visibly armed speedboats making clowns of themselves.

As an American warship commander in those waters, I'd be much more concerned if a lone boat would ask to dock for help due to some emergency on board. I would pretty clearly state to that boat that they are not to approach, that a party will be dispatched to provide assistance, and that any attempt at docking will be considered an attempted boarding (which I'd be surprised if the international law wouldn't allow use of discretionary force against).

--
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
 
  • #42
seycyrus said:
Regarding the submarine issue. it was more along the lines of ... Chinese sub submerges, shuts off all systems, lies dormant, and waits for US fleet to pass. [...]
If so, the point? That was my favorite strategy in Harpoon anyway, no other way to beat CVNBG :)

The US coimmander would have been within rights to blow those ships out of the water.

What would kirk have done [...]
Could you please point to the relevant paragraph of the international law instead?

Don't get me wrong, Star Trek analogy may have been enough to convince me, if it weren't that hails there are usually quite unambigously directed (please state an episode where a Starfleet ship receives a hail directed at another ship?) and the universal translator handles Romulan quite well (please state an episode where it wasn't able to interpret Romulan phrase?)

--
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
 
  • #43
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undoubtedly, the submarine was a major incident, but one far less likely to end up in a direct conflict, IMO. The submarine was directly under control of the chinese navy, and by surfacing basically 'exposed' itself. It could not really do much after that point.

I'm quite sure that there is nothing under international law that will allow a warship commander to act on his own assumptions on the intentions of unidentified vessels (unless perhaps if these can be legally declared "pirate").
I would highly doubt that, but I dont know internatonal rules and regulations, so I cant say for sure. I would exepct that it is fully within his judgement to make that call with an unidentified ship in international waters that appears to be a threat.

I'm guessing that the commander was never seriously concerned about that. Suicide strikes come as inconspicuous as they can make it, not from a bunch of visibly armed speedboats making clowns of themselves.
Suicide bombers are pretty crazy by nature, so I cant agree with you there.
 
  • #44
Art
It was stated as a fact that the Iranian speedboats acted illegally I am asking for the proof of this claim. A very straightforward request.

It was also stated as a fact that Iran is a rogue nation though seeing as how they were awarded this title by a man who subverted democracy in his own country, waged an illegal war resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and who authorised the illegal detention and torture of prisoners whilst simultaneously spying on his own countrymen I am sure it is a badge they wear with honour.

btw The Iranian account of the incident is that this was SOP, they asked the US ships to identify themselves and once they had done so they left them alone. They also deny any threats were made so it would be good if the US gov't were to clear up that point by making the tapes available of the radio interchange.
 
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  • #45
seycyrus
If so, the point? That was my favorite strategy in Harpoon anyway, no other way to beat CVNBG :)
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
Excuse me?

The sub commander signaled his non-hostile intent by surfacing in a non-threatening manner.

The Iranians demonstrated hostile intent. Can you tell the difference?


Don't get me wrong, Star Trek analogy may have been enough to convince me, if it weren't that hails there are usually quite unambigously directed (please state an episode where a Starfleet ship receives a hail directed at another ship?) and the universal translator handles Romulan quite well (please state an episode where it wasn't able to interpret Romulan phrase?)

--
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
So, you want to quibble?

Who do YOU think the Iranians were broadcasting to when they transmitted "prepare to explode"

Did the US mistranslate the phrase?
 
  • #46
seycyrus
It was stated as a fact that the Iranian speedboats acted illegally I am asking for the proof of this claim.
Oh yeah. Asking for a lawyer farmiliar with international maritime law on the physics forum.

It was also stated as a fact that Iran is a rogue nation though seeing as how they were awarded this title by a man ....
Ehh, Iran had that title LONG before Bush came along from a multitude of other countries as well.
 
  • #47
2,985
15
It was stated as a fact that the Iranian speedboats acted illegally I am asking for the proof of this claim.

It was also stated as a fact that Iran is a rogue nation though seeing as how they were awarded this title by a man who subverted democracy in his own country. waged an illegal war resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and who authorised the illegal detention and torture of prisoners whilst simultaneously spying on his own countrymen I am sure it is a badge they wear with honour.

btw The Iranian account of the incident is that this was SOP, they asked the US ships to identify themselves and once they had done so they left them alone. They also deny any threats were made so it would be good if the US gov't were to clear up that point by making the tapes available of the radio interchange.
Your first paragraph has nothing to do with the issue, its just blatant bickering. Your second paragraph makes it seem as though whatever the Iranian government says is an apparent truth to you.

Art, your response here is really not warranted.
 
  • #48
Art
Your first paragraph has nothing to do with the issue, its just blatant bickering. Your second paragraph makes it seem as though whatever the Iranian government says is an apparent truth to you.

Art, your response here is really not warranted.
LOL My first paragraph IS the issue doh!!! If someone on this forum makes a statement as a fact then it is up to them to support it. If it is not a fact but merely their personal opinion then it should be identified as such. For example your statement
Ehh, Iran had that title LONG before Bush came along from a multitude of other countries as well
should have been identified as your opinion which btw happens to be wrong. Madeline Albright categorised Iran as 'A State of Concern', this was upgraded to 'Rogue State' by Bush.

My second paragraph points out there are two differing 'official' versions of what happened during this incident. I have made no indication whatsoever which one I think is true. I have pointed out that if the US gov't version is true they can easily prove it. I suggest your accusation of bias be directed closer to home.

Jingoistic responses wrapped in the flag of patriotism to incidents such as this leads to wars. Someone here has already mentioned the Gulf of Tonkin incident and look what that led to!!!
 
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  • #49
2,985
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Too bad I never said that, Art.


-oooops
 
  • #50
Art
Too bad I never said that, Art.


-oooops
lol sorry Cyrus it was your 'relation' Seycyrus. However my points still stand.
 

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