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March 25, 2007

Ayeneh-ye Rooz: 'Iran's Capture of UK Sailors May Be Prelude to Prisoner Swap'

Topics: Iran

John at Freedom's Zone (also at Satellite News - Iran) calls our attention to a March 24 article in the German newspaper Ayeneh-ye Rooz (written in Persian), that has suggested that Iran's capture of 15 British sailors in the Shatt al-Arab waterway may be the fulfillment of a suggestion made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in his latest public message that Iran will commit illegalities of its own if the West does anything illegal. The paper speculated that the capture may be related to the recent arrest of Iranian military and security officers. (Although Iran sees the arrest of Iranian military and security officers operating in Iraq as illegal, somehow the notion escapes the Iranian regime that paying for and providing arms and training for terrorists, and undermining the efforts of the Coalition and Iraqi government to stabilize the country, is the illegal act - not the arrest of its personnel for carrying out and facilitating terrorism.)

John also notes that a Persian article in today's edition of Mohsen Rezai's newspaper baztab reports that a member of the Iranian Majles principled faction [osulgara] has warned Iran's Foreign Ministry that it must not give in to international demands to release the captured sailors in light of the American capture of five Iranians in the Iraqi city of Irbil. The article says the deputy has cautioned that this is not the first time international pressure has been brought to bear on Iran on behalf of the United Kingdom.

In what could be nothing but bluster and positioning, the UK's Sunday Times reports that a website run by associates of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reported last night that the Britons would be put before a court and indicted. Given that this is likely to trigger a hot war that Ahmadinejad has been promising, but likely not yet ready for, this could be seen as further evidence of a prisoner swap in the making - at least from Iran's viewpoint.

Referring to them as "insurgents", the site concluded: "If it is proven that they deliberately entered Iranian territory, they will be charged with espionage. If that is proven, they can expect a very serious penalty since according to Iranian law, espionage is one of the most serious offenses."

That all this would have been a non-event had the Brits not sat back and watched while 15 members of their military were abducted by Iran, hasn't been addressed, but it should be, and as Riehl World View points out, the US would have likely behaved in the same pathetic way, given the "weak resolve of, and lack of ability for said community to denounce such outrageous acts, let alone actually confront them":

Just look at this pathetic situation with Iran, how it developed and how it's playing out. Based upon orders from high command, the Brits sat and watched as fifteen members of their military, including one woman, were taken away. And I doubt the US would have behaved any differently.
As the crew members were surrounded in their two rubber dinghies, the Cornwall's commander, Commodore Nick Lambert, frantically radioed back to his own top brass for instructions.

The response to the inquiry, which had been immediately patched through to Ministry of Defence headquarters in Whitehall, was to hold fire.

A quick aside, the name of the Iranian ambassador is right out of Austin Powers - move ahead my butt:
After a hurried phone call to Blair, she immediately summoned Iran's ambassador, Rasoul Movahedian, to her office to explain their behaviour.
Next, the Brits have to go begging to the International community for support. All that confirms is the weak resolve of, and lack of ability for said community to denounce such outrageous acts, let alone actually confront them.
In the meantime, Blair made a personal call to European allies, including EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, to secure a public denunciation of the Iranians' actions.

"It was impressed on everyone how important it was to raise the diplomatic temperature, rather than keep a low profile and let them make a song and dance of the situation," one defence official said.

"There is nothing to be gained in provoking a confrontation, because that would be playing into their hands. But neither should we let them have it all their way. We tried that before and we're still trying to get our kit back."

Provoking a confrontation? For heaven's sake, a third rate radical religious regime took fifteen members of your military hostage ... and you're concerned about provoking them? What is this, the new doormat-ism diplomacy? A rhetorical question, I know.

More on this here...

I agree with RWV's summation that this entire affair is a pathetic mess brought about by a lack of conviction and moral weakness of the West. But it's even more than just an issue of conviction and moral weakness. It's a matter of a divided populace with a vocal left that have no clue of the threat the West is facing from the Islamists, a liberal media controlled by that left, and liberal politicians that dance to the tunes of idiocy (given the true nature of the threats we face) played by the left. As RWV suggests, we could indeed inflict all the punishment needed without putting a single soldier on the ground, but instead, allegedly good men do nothing while International outlaws have their way. Unless things change, and damned soon, the left will have no problem seeing the realities they've ignored, and the rest of us, those of us that have recognized the dangers of "Cornwall syndrome", will lament our silence and failures to demand more from our politicians, and our failure to make our voices louder than those of the left. Unfortunately, it is then going to be too late for all of us on both sides, and a nuclearized Islamist regime in Iran will become the planet's greatest nightmare. Imagine suicide bombers with bomb vests. Now imagine suicide bombers with suitcases of nukes. Isn't this what Ahmadinejad, Iran (Shocking video - Iranian Army Marches in Nuke-the-World Formation), and the mullahs have themselves voice d as their goals?

Related: What Motivates Ahmadinejad?

The president of Iran appears intent on developing nuclear weapons and has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. In the West he is at times portrayed as a madman, but few realize the real motivating force behind his dream of triumphant Islam.

Posted by Richard at March 25, 2007 8:42 AM

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