Saturday, February 24, 2007

Iranian Propaganda Sounds Like Old Soviet Stuff

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

Check out this article on the Iranian reaction to recent U.S. submarine problems in the Iranian press. Excerpts:
Chemical and radioactive substances have leaked from a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine at the repairing site in Bahrain, an Iranian navy official has said.
The substances have leaked from the USS Newport News submarine which collided with a Japanese tanker near the Straits of Hormuz on January 8, Commander of Iranian Navy, Rear Admiral Sajjad Kuchaki said.
He added that the USS Newport News collision with the Mogamigawa has happened because of irresponsibility of officials on the American submarine.
"USS Newport News has suffered substantial damages, but Americans tried denying this," Kuchaki stated.
Saying that the submarine has been transferred to the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet, the commander added that although initial reports rejected the spread of chemicals, "Our news sources revealed that traces of chemical and radioactive leakage are evident at the Bahrain port where the U.S. submarine is being repaired..."
...Kuchaki added that Commander Matthew A. Weingart was relieved of command due to his recklessness and Captain Norman B. Moore has taken his position.
He further noted that the submarine was transited to Bahrain for temporary repairs, and it will return to the Port of Norfolk for a complete overhaul.
The commander raised the question of why Persian Gulf States and environmental organizations are being indifferent to this matter when they are very well aware of the environmental consequences of the incident.
"The Persian Gulf littoral states and departments that claim they are supportive of the environment, which often exaggerate the smallest oil spill, have not reacted to the spread of chemicals that threaten the region's ecosystem."
Kuchaki went onto say the USS Minneapolis (SSN708) left Norfolk for Europe and stopped in Italy and England for a week.
Four crewmen were swept overboard in rough seas as it pulled out Plymouth harbor in England. The incident occurred due to a hasty and poor decision by the commander.
Pointing out that the presence of crew members on deck is strictly forbidden at time of departure Commander of Iranian navy added, "How could the officials of the mentioned submarine not notice four of their crew members on deck, taking into consideration the importance of this matter, and then start departing?"
The commander expressed regret that American commanders did not value the lives of their soldiers. He was also surprised at how American families trusted such irresponsible commanders.
Kuchaki added that the U.S. commanders' incompetence and irresponsibility were the cause of this tragic incident.
"Countries in the region must not allow their waters to be the parading ground of such people. How can they maintain security in the region and control the flow of oil exports from the Strait of Hormuz with such reckless leadership?"
[Emphasis mine] The article is clearly intended to try to influence the Gulf States (Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE) in the same clumsy matter as the old Soviet stuff back in the 70s and 80s. What interested me in the article was how the Commander of the Iranian Navy may have inadvertantly let something operational slip out. Notice that he seems surprised that anyone would be topside on a submarine after it gets underway. While Western submariners know that we do this all the time, it appears to me that the Iranian submariners must not, which would explain RADM Kuchaki's surprise at this. Now, I'm not sure how we could use this slip operationally, but it's still a good lesson for U.S. submarine officers who talk to the press to take to heart.


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