Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Iran's kidnapping drama continues...

The kidnapping of British Soldiers by Iran is reported on Iranian TV

It's difficult to know what Iran is up to. Perhaps they are looking for a prisoner swap? Perhaps they have over-reached more than they intended?

Internally, Iran is having lots of problems. The economy is tanking, and the U.N. sanctions against Iran promise to make things worse. The Iranian government is clamping down on dissidents and opposition groups, and stepping up censorship of foreign media and cultural influences.

There are divisions in the Iranian leadership; not all the mullah's like what Amadinejad is doing, believing he is creating unnecessary problems. Pressures continue to mount as Iran tries to move forward with it's nuclear program.

As I noted in a previous post, we still have many non-military options we can use in dealing with Iran.

Here are some of the latest articles on the situation today:

From Tammy Bruce:
Iran's British Marine Hostage Drama Deepens

From Jack Kelly:
Britain Must Respond Firmly to Iran's Provocations
[...]Why would Iran engage in such a provocation now?

First, taking hostages is what the mullahs do. When the Islamists first took control of Iran, they seized the American embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. (They were released on the day Ronald Reagan took the oath of office. He'd made it clear during the campaign that he lacked Jimmy Carter's forbearance toward the Islamist regime, and the mullahs didn't want to risk testing his resolve.) In 2004, they seized eight British sailors on a similar maritime inspection mission. (The sailors were released after three days, but not before being paraded blindfolded on Iranian tv.)

Second, the Iranians need somebody to trade. The mullahs have been embarrassed by the apparent defection of two high ranking officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, and U.S. and U.K. forces have arrested five Iranian intelligence officers within Iraq since the surge began. (The CIA apparently warned the British the mullahs were planning reprisals.)

Third, the mullahs need to distract an increasingly restive Iranian public from a deteriorating economy, and the high likelihood that the economic sanctions imposed by the UN last weekend will make things worse. Tyrants frequently beat war drums in such circumstances. [...]

From the Memri Blog:
From the MEMRI Archives: Elements in Revolutionary Guards Threaten to Abduct U.S. Troops

From CNN:
Iran: Inquiry first, contact second
[...]In an interview on GMTV on Tuesday Blair said: "I hope we manage to get them (the Iranian government) to realize they have to release them. If not, then this will move into a different phase."

Asked what that meant, Blair said: "Well, we will just have to see, but what they should understand is that we cannot have a situation where our servicemen and women are seized when actually they are in Iraqi waters under a U.N. mandate, patrolling perfectly rightly and in accordance with that mandate, and then effectively captured and taken to Iran."

Blair's spokesman said later the prime minister did not mean Iranian diplomats would be expelled or military action was likely.


Britain insists the group was in Iraqi waters, a claim Iraq supports; Iran insists it was in Iranian waters.

Competing claims on the waterway, which provides Iraq's only outlet to the Gulf, was one of the causes of the 1980-88 war between Iran and Iraq. (Read about the contested waterway) [...]

update 03/28/07: I've added some excerpts to some of the links, I didn't have time to do it yesterday.

Related Link:

Iranian Hostage Situation Escalates
This post by LMC also has some good links. Check it out to see Newt Gingrich's interesting suggestion for dealing with the hostage crisis.


Dionne said...

Great post summing it all up.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe, just maybe, Iran is actually doing what any country would do... defend its territory.
Things are never as simple as we'd like to believe... Makes for rough going from the "black or white", "with us or again' us" crowd. So much easier to yell "Kidnapping" and run around like a headless chicken. Makes it easier to justify a bit of bombing, too.
From the Guardian :

Because the two countries have not agreed on updated charts, that means there is no universal agreement on exactly where the border line runs.

If the seizure occurred near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab - which is likely - the issue becomes even more complicated because Iraq and Iran have never agreed on each others' claim to Gulf waters near the mouth of the waterway.

Without such an agreement, international law requires countries not to extend their territorial waters ``beyond the median line with neighboring states,'' said Martin Pratt of the University of Durham in Britain.

But defining that line is difficult because of conflicting claims to rock formations, sandbars and barrier islands in the shallow waters of the northern Gulf, Pratt said.

As a result, there may be ``legitimate grounds for arguing for a different definition'' of those median lines, Pratt said.

Chas said...

Thanks LMC.


You obviously didn't read any of the links. The British are operating under a U.N. mandate, and are using the last agreed upon demarcation line prior to the Iran/Iraq war, which is the median.

Plenty of countries have disagreements about their territorial boundaries on water. Damn few abduct soldiers working under a U.N. mandate.

Your patronizing tone and condescension is not appreciated.

I see you are posting from a French language computer. That may explain a lot, but it's hardly and excuse. I suggest you go find someone else's soup to piss in, I won't have it here.

Dionne said...

Jebuff must've followed me back to my blog because he made the same comment there. I've got a new post up about Iran that you might want to check out.

Walker said...

Did you see where Rosie O'Donnell says not to worry because the Iranians are just mommies and daddies just like us. LOL

Chas said...


Yes, I think he's one of those French spammers that just follows links and posts the same thing everywhere, without staying to read anything.

I won't say I've gotten a lot of French hit-and-runs, but there have been a few. ;-)

Liked your piece on Rosie, and the Iran post too, I'll link to that here.


Rosie is an idiot. It astonishes me when leftist lesbians like herself bend over backwards to defend governments like Iran's Mullah theocracy, which has one of the worst human rights records in the world against gays and women.

Many gays and Feminists in Iran in the 1970s joined forces with the Ayatollah Khomeini and the mullahs to overthrow the Shah. They believed that Khomeini would form a secular government, and give them all the gay rights, feminist rights and socialism they so desired.

They were so focused on their own agenda, they were wearing blinders, and failed to see the true nature of the partners they allied themselves with. They were lambs to the slaughter once the Ayatollah came to power.

Rosie is wearing the same blinders. She is so focused on advancing her leftist views and concomitant hatred of mainstream America, that she can't see anything else, no matter how obvious. She would run gladly run off the edge of a cliff like a mindless lemming, and urge the rest of us to eagerly follow. Disgusting.

She's not even a real liberal, she's a fool.