Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:14 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:14 | SYDNEY

Iran antics show weakness, not strength


Sam Roggeveen


9 January 2008 16:17

Newly released footage of the 6 January Persian Gulf incident, in which Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps speedboats raced toward US naval vessels while radio-ing, 'I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes,' shows that the Iranians got really, really close:

It was reckless behaviour that could easily have gotten out of control, and US Navy commanders on the scene should be commended for their restraint. Had a military incident occurred it is likely the Iranian speedboats would have come off by far the worst, and it would have played right into hardliners' hands in the US, who like to portray Iran as a looming threat. These hardliners played much the same sport with last year's Iranian hostage-taking of 15 British sailors and marines, an incident which showed not that Iran was a threat, but that it was bureaucratically disorganised and hamfisted in its propaganda.

The US serves its interests far better by treating provocations like this not as a sign of imminent danger to the Commonweal, but as the paranoid bluster of a weak regime deserving pity rather than fear.