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British Sailors Take Note

British sailors are one thing, but Iranian naval forces discovered that you don’t f*** with Australian naval officers.

The Defence Department has confirmed a report Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf tried to capture an Australian navy boarding team but were repelled in the face of machine guns and “highly colourful language”.

According to the BBC, the incident took place months before Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized 15 British sailors and marines in March., setting off a tense two-week diplomatic stand-off that might have been avoided if Britain had learned from the Australian encounter.

The Britons were captured over a boundary dispute while they were searching a cargo boat.

Quoting a “military source”, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner reports Iranian forces made a concerted attempt to seize a boarding party from the Royal Australian Navy and that the Australians “were having none of it”.

“The BBC has been told the Australians re-boarded the vessel they had just searched,” Gardner reports, “aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians, and warned them to back off, using what was said to be ‘highly colourful language’.”

“The Iranians withdrew, and the Australians were reportedly lifted off the ship by one of their own helicopters.”

Speaking to the ABC today, Gardner said the Australian encounter was similar to that in which the 15 British were captured.

“What I’ve been told by several sources, military sources, (is that) there was a similar encounter, in this case between the Royal Australian Navy and Iranian gunboats, some months ago, or at least some months prior to the seizing of the British sailors,” Gardner told ABC radio.

“The Australians escaped capture by climbing back on board the ship they’d just searched. I’m told that they set up their weapons.

“No shots were exchanged but the Iranians backed off and the Australians were able to get helicoptered off that ship and they didn’t get captured.”

He did not mention the name of the Australian ship. Australians ships rotate through duties in the Gulf, chiefly searching ships.

“What I’m hearing is that it was a pretty robust attitude by the Australians,” Gardner told the ABC.

“The words that somebody said to me was that they used pretty colourful language but I’m sure that alone didn’t make the Iranians back off.

“They reacted, I’m told, incredibly quickly, whereas the Brits were caught at their most vulnerable moment, climbing down off the ship (and) getting into their boats.”

Gardner said the British should be embarrassed about the incident but the issue was whether military intelligence had been passed on.

“The point of this story is not that the Aussies were fantastically brave and the Brits were a bunch of cowards, although I’m sure some people will interpret (it that way),” he said.

“Lessons should have been drawn from what happened to the Australian crew.”

Kudos to the Aussies for showing everyone the kind of fighting spirit that is needed if we are going to win this war against global Jihad.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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