John on April 2, 2007 at 11:35 pm
Update: 6:30PM: Sky News and the Telegraph are reporting further contacts between the UK and Iran. The Independent is saying that there was a discussion last night between “Britain and Dr Ali Larijani, of the Iranian Supreme Security Council.”
At the same time Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett is warning that no one should be overly optimistic about the possibility of a swift release.
Update 9:15AM: Big things happening. Jalal Sharafi, an Iranian diplomat, who was seized on the streets of Bagdad Feb. 4th has suddenly reappeared and is on his way to Iran. Though he was apparently seized by an Iraqi commando unit, Iran believes the US was behind it. This AP story makes clear that the government of Iraq exerted pressure on the unnamed group that had been holding the diplomat. Furthermore:
A senior Iraqi foreign ministry official said on Tuesday that the government was “intensively” seeking release of five Iranians detained by the US military more than two months ago in northern Iraq.
For those that haven’t been paying attention to the details, this was the raid in which US soldiers seized six men on January 11th. One was later released because he had diplomatic papers. The other five were tied to the Revolutionary Guard and have been held since then. There have been several suggestions since this crisis began that the Iranians were looking to get these individuals back. It’s also likely that the Karbala raid which involved the kidnapping, and later the killing, of five US soldiers was a previous attempt to create a hostage situation like the one now involving the 15 Brits.
Finally, Debka has a behind the scenes look at decision making in Tehran. It’s a battle between those who want to provoke war now and those who want to resolve the situaion. According to Debka, Iran’s plan if its oil refineries are attacked is to strike out at oil production in nearby Saudi Arabia, thereby creating a crisis on the world oil market.
The Brits seem to have resigned themselves to giving in to Iran’s hostage demands. In this case the demands are simple:
Laying out what appeared to be a vague road map for the freeing of the British personnel, Mr Larijani said that, if it was found they had crossed into Iranian territory, there should be an apology and they would then be released.
Capitulate and you’ll get your soldiers back. Then Khameni and Ahmedinejad can go on TV and declare another “Divine Victory” over the infidel. The Revolutionary Guard, the Quds Force, Hezbollah will all celebrate and prepare for the next strategic kidnapping. (Perhaps if Israel will simply agree to stop existing Cpl. Gilad Shalit will be returned as well.)
No doubt related to this weakening of the knees, the Brits have opened a new round of recriminations. Instead of blaming themselves this go, they’re blaming the US. Somehow I should have guessed this would turn out to be our fault. I can’t offer any better analysis of the story than Allah has already done at HotAir, so go check him out for details.
This is dhimmitude on a grand scale. Just submit to Iran’s wishes and we’ll all get along fine. Where is King Leonidas when we need him?
Category: Foreign Affairs |