Monday, November 11, 2013

UK And Iran Re-Establish Diplomatic Ties


Britain's Foreign Minister William Hague announced that Iran and Britain have agreed to re-establish full diplomatic relations. The agreement apparent was done on the sidelines of the Geneva conference.

The British have appointed Ajay Sharma, who heads the British Foreign Office's Iran department, would take up a position as charge d’affaires with Iran. Since the UK is still afraid to re-open it's embassy at this time (the Iranians storming the place in 2011 was what led to Britain severing diplomatic relations), Sharma will visit Iran on a monthly basis, as Reuters reported, but will be a non-resident diplomat.

Iran's Mehr news agency reports that Iran will send a new charge d'affaires, Hassan Habibollah Zadeh, to London, where the Iranian embassy will be re-opened.

You sometimes wonder how low a nation can abase itself, but Britain never ceases to amaze me. After having it's sailors kidnapped on the open sea and having to ransom them,allowing Iran to force the British Navy to abrogate its commitment to patrol the Persian Gulf with its allies and having its embassy overrun by a violent mob while the Iranian 'security' stood by and watched, you would think the Brits would havehad enough of this foul, terrorist supporting regime.

Nope.They're willing to bend over even further.

Given the Ayatollahs' often expressed desire to eliminate Israel, it would be only fair if Israel was to recall its ambassador from Britain in protest, over this and other matters. That won't happen, of course.

But it's sad to see the depths to which a nation that once inspired the free world has sunk.Britain is unworthy of her ancestors.


B.Poster said...

While I understand the sentiment, the last sentence about Britain being unworthy of its ancestors is a bit harsh. You see America is equally bad in all of the areas mentioned and most likely even worse.

If we want a tougher stance against Iran, we are going to have to change the narrative on this conflict. At least with regards to America, the narrative on this conflict is that it all begin when America working with Britain overthrew the democratically elected government back in the early fifties. The democratic government of Iran posed no threat whatsoever to America or Britain and only wanted to prevent the British and the Americans from stealing their oil and economically raping them.

I'm NOT suggesting I agree with the narrative but it is the narrative held by the majority of Brits, Americans, and most of the world. Furthermore Iran can count as allies Russia, China, the rest of the BRICS and most of the world should a conflict with America arise. With all of the help Iran can count on the fact is we are going to need major assistance from others in order to have any chance of effectively confronting Iran. Unless this narrative is altered, the needed assistance will not be forthcoming.

You've actually done an excellent job on this site exposing the flaws in the conventional narrative. Unfortunately most people don't read Joshuapundit!!

As far as ransoming the sailors go, I'm not sure what else British leadership could have done at that point. Any attempt to fire back at the Iranian vessel would have resulted in the sinking of the British vessel and the loss of all hands. Any attempt to "get tough" with Iran on all of this would have had the same result. Britain can't go to war with Iran. Britain would lack the necessary support from allies that would be needed, Iran could count on support from numerous areas, and even if Iran and Britain went to war in a conventional method without assistance from other powers Iran would win easily. If the Brits used their nuclear arsenal, Britain would be almost instantly destroyed by the retaliatory strikes from Russia and China who are not about to sit back while their ally gets attacked.

The Americans face many of the same issues that Britain confronts when trying to deal with Iran, however, for America the challenges would likely be even greater. Essentially Iran is the stronger country right now and British diplomacy is acting accordingly.

Perhaps the Persian Gulf incident could have been avoided all together if British vessels were not in the Persian Gulf. Perhaps it makes more sense for "Western" nations to deploy their military assets in areas that make sense for their national defense rather than waste them on fruitless nation building or patrolling missions far from their nations.

Btw, "Western" nations is another misnomer but this is getting off topic. As long as we continue to falsely assume there is some monolithic "west" who has common interests that can be expected to work together, much diplomacy will be wasted at best and at worst it will be fruitless.

Rob said...

Read your history and see what Britain did in the past when its nationals were harmed or kidnapped.Or even when their commerce was impeded.

References: The War Of Jenkin's Ear, The response to Elphanstone's Afghan retreat(AKA The Army Of Retribution), The sack of Kabul, The Opium Wars, The Response to the Boxer Rebellion,Britain's response to the Sepoy Rebellion and the Black Hole of Calcutta...

Just to name a few.

BTW, the Western nations have common interests and a common foe, whether they realize it or not.


Rob said...

Oh, and BTW, the 'overthrow' you're talking about was the removal of Mossadegh in the 1950's, a communist and Soviet stooge who wanted to turn Iran over to the Soviets as part of their empire and who refused to leave office even after the Majlis (the Iranian parliament)called almost unanimously for him to do so.

America and Kermit Roosevelt did Iran a huge favor and kept them from becoming just another Soviet colony, and I am frankly sick and tired of people mentioning this as some sort of excuse for Iran's barbaric behavior since 1978.

The real cause, of course, was not the takeover in the 1950's but our allowing them to invade U.S. soil(our embassy)and take our diplomats hostage.

No other country has ever done that before and gotten away with it without serious retribution.


B.Poster said...


You've actually done a good job rebutting the standard narrative on Iran. I don't materially disagree with you on this. The problem is most people don't read your website nor or most people familiar who Kermit Roosevelt was or what he represented. Until the narrative on this conflict is changed, we are simply not going to be able to get the kind of assistance we are going to need to effectively confront Iran in any kind of a militarily significant way. Period.

You may get sick and tired of it all you want. Frankly, I agree with you on this one, however, we are going to have keep hearing it until the narrative on this is altered. As for post 1978, reference the standard narrative. According to this America "has it coming" for it's past "misdeeds" with regards to Iran and the broader Middle East.

What Britain did in the past may or may not be relevant here. In the past, Britain was a much more powerful country than it is today. Today Iran is far stronger than Britain is. It's generally not a good idea for one to get into the nation state equivalent of a punching match (war) with someone who is bigger and stronger than you whose allies are bigger and stronger than yours any more than it is for individuals to get into punching matches with those bigger and stronger than they are.

Additionally, the kind of American response you may have been expecting post the 1978 taking of our embassy may not have been possible. We very likely would have had to deal with a military response by the Soviet Union and its allies. Not a pleasant prospect even it was something we could have actually won which is a questionable assumption at best.

Essentially if we can change the narrative on this conflict we just might be able to get the kind of assistance we are going to need to confront this. Also, good outcomes for Britain, America, and the rest of the so called "west" are still possible but it will mean facing the geo-political realities as they are and not how we want them to be.

While it is true that the "western" nations do face common enemies and common challenges, each nation is so radically different culturally that it is unwise to try and lump them together as a monolithic entity or to try and unify them in any other way. At this point, the EU nations view America as a "strategic competitor" and are unlikely to help us much in any material way.

Again, alter the narrative on the conflict. I'm not sure how to do this though, as the narrative on the conflict with Iran has become so deeply ingrained.

Rob said...

Hello Poster,
Actually, the U.S. doesn't need the EU's assistance or consent to deal with Iran's nuclear problem. You'll be amazed at how they'll fall in line once the job is done.

Russia and China (especially China) would likewise acquiesce in spite of some unfavorable rhetoric - especially if we took out Iran's oil infrastructure as well to ensure they couldn't just buy more toys in the future,which would remove the source of Russia and China's chief interest in Iran.

This is a problem of will, not of 'narratives' or the impossibility to accomplish defanging Iran.

That said, with Iran born and raised Valerie Jarrett installed as Obama's chief consigliere, as well as the nature of this president and his team, the United States will likely stand down.

It has already cost us in terms of our influence and the price will grow in the future unless something changes.

B.Poster said...

The EU will not simply "fall in line" because the US says or does something. Very respectfully it does not work that way. While EU nations may not be necessary for military assistance, we could expect their media sources to go bat sh!t crazy with anti-American rhetoric which would further inflame anti-Americanism making our security situation and our economic situation even harder than it already is.

Also, they could extract a terrible economic price from us if we don't act as they would wish. While NY currently plays a prominent role in world finance and banking, remember this is easily changed.

It would be expected that Russia and China would intervene militarily on the side of Iran in order to protect this oil infrastructure and other investments in the country. Bottom line, a military solution to the Iranian situation would involve the necessity of finding a military solution for Russia, China, the other BRICS and very likely other Middle Eastern nations.

Once the shooting starts, it would be expected that Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations will line up on the side of Iran against common foes. While there is some rhetoric by the Saudis against Iran, I interpret as just that. Once the military conflict starts, they will side with Iran against a common foe. There's time enough later to for Sunni and Shia to duke it out.

In addition to finding military solutions for Iran, Russia, China, and probably most of the BRICS, we are going to need to find some way of securing the American homeland. Iranian backed groups already operating within America will unleash terrorist/military attacks the likes of which has not been seen. Unless the proper planning is implemented and care taken, millions of our people will die as a result of military action against Iran. Even so, there may be no way to guard against this at this late time.

More than the EU nations for military assistance we are going to need logistical support and intelligence support from various middle eastern nations. While the "will" as you say is a problem, it is primarily because the "narrative" is a problem. In order to acquire the will, it seems likely the narrative will need to be addressed in some concrete way.

I agree with your assessment about this current president and Ms. Jarrett. It seems unlikely that someone truly interested in the security of America who serves as POTUS would have someone with such close ties to Iran in such an important position. Most Americans probably would not see this as a problem because of the narrative eon this conflict and would likely view such a move by POTUS as a gesture of goodwill toward the Iranians.

I also agree that the nature of this president is makes it unlikely that he would act to deal decisively in a military manner with the Iranian problem. I think as I've thought since early 2008 that Israel is best equipped to deal with this problem. Not being an Israeli it is not my place to say what they should do, however, I'm somewhat amazed they have not already acted to deal with this.

Hopefully they will do so soon. After all it is in our best interests that they do so as well as theirs. It's unlikely we currently possess the capabilities to carry it out even if we had a president inclined to do it and even if we had someone inclined to do it serving as POTUS we lack the necessary logistical or intelligence support that would be required. Israel has the capabilities.

Rob said...


(a)a huge chunk of Europe's economy is based an exports to America and favorable exchange rates. Not to mention the EU still depends on America to keep them from being overrun by Russia. Trust me when I say they would fall in line. And given the EU's current financial problems, the idea that they 'could extract a terrible economic price from us' is ludicrous, with all due respect.

So is the idea that Russia and China would get into a hot war over Iran. Russia lacks the military strength and the rationale, and China is not going to kiss off almost a trillion dollars and tank its economy by getting into hostilities with a country it desperately needs to buy its exports.

As for the Saudis and the other Arab countries, the current rift between them and the U.S is mostly based on our inaction over Shi'te Iran's nuclear program. If we took out Iran's nukes and oil, they'd be having parades and carnivals in Riyadh, Dubai, Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

B.Poster said...

I hope and pray your analysis is correct on this one. With that said, it seems to me that America's is Russia's main enemy right now, not Western Europe. Furthermore we need the imports as bad if not worse than Europe needs to import these items to us. Given European dependence on Russia for much of it's oil supply and American dependence on the EU for these imports it seems unlikely that the EU is going to cooperate with us in any meaningful way on something like Iran.

I'm not sure you are correct regarding Russian military strength relative to the US. While the US likely does still hold a conventional edge, Russia seems to have narrowed this significantly in recent years especially in the area of anti-ship weapons. Admittedly some of these anti-ship weapons may not work as well as advertised but if they are only 50% effective this represents a huge increase in Russian capabilities relative to us. A specific example is the
Russian "sun burn" weapon.

Also, Russia has a significant advantage over the US in tactical nuclear weapons according to These weapons could be used to very quickly eliminate the "superior" conventional forces we have and give Russian "inferior" conventional forces complete control of the battlefield.

Additionally, Russia has upgraded and expanded their submarine based ICBMs. They may be able use these to strike the American mainland eliminating America before we'd have a chance to respond. Given that we've chosen to not focus on this area as much, this could be a problem. (At least publically we don't focus on this. Every time someone mentions the need to improve to America's nuclear weapons capabilities the media elites in America and the "west" become hysterical.)

On top of this, from Russia's perspective the Cold War never really ended. I think it may be a mistake to dismiss Russian military capability.

Additionally, with experienced officers being sacked due to political reasons and with the military worn down from continuing operations in the GWOT, it would seem to be unwise to send our forces to war against better led and better trained forces of the Russians and the Chinese.

As for Chinese imports, we need these worse than China needs to send them to us. As such, to turn what you wrote around it seems unwise for us to risk a hot war with our chief supplier of manufactured goods.

As for the Saudis and other Arabs, they might well hold parades but even if successful I doubt we'd get the credit. They'd take all the credit and go right back to their anti-Americanism and plotting our destruction. Remember it was Sunni Arabs primarily of Saudi origin who attacked us on 911.

I do hope you're right and I'm wrong about all of this.

As for Europe depending on America for it's defense, I must say that is one h!ll of a plan on the part of EU nations. Outsourcing your defense needs to a nation who is broker than you are that all the way on the other side of the world. Such planning takes stupid to the absurd. Furthermore we are not really in a position where we can do this. As I've pointed out numerous times on this site and others before, we need to redeploy our forces to positions that make strategic sense to us. Fruitless efforts in Europe don't seem to make sense for us right now.

B.Poster said...

"Not to mention the EU still depends on America to keep them from being overrun by Russia." This was the case during the Cold War. The conventional wisdom, the "narrative" if you will, is the Cold War is over. If this is in fact true, then those forces should be able to be withdrawn.

It has been my contention for a number of years that the Cold War never really ended. At least the Russians don't think it did. By stating this rationale for keeping troops in Western Europe it would seem you may be stating that my analysis of this situation is correct.

The conventional wisdom on this is the American forces in Europe present a threatening posture to the Russians, specifically the inclusion of former Eastern Bloc countries into NATO specially after the Americans agreed not to do this acts to inflame the Russians forcing them into such a position. As such, it follows that if America withdrew its forces from Western Europe and withdrew its support from former Eastern Bloc nations and some former Soviet Republics tensions would lessen and both Western Europe and America would be more secure.

In any event, America should be more secure in such an event. It makes little strategic sense to defend people who don't like us, would celebrate, at least privately, if calamity befell us, and since we are viewed as a "strategic competitor" are always trying to find ways to undermine us. Besides while Europe is being defended from being overrun whose actually defending America from being overrun by its enemies?

I'm not suggesting don't deal with Western Europe. I am suggesting that when dealing with them we need to know who and what we are dealing with. Furthermore I'm not suggesting I agree with the narrative on this. The reality, as it usually is, is considerably more complicated.

Sun Tsu makes reference to how conflicts are perceived and why this is important to ultimate victory. Right now our adversaries and potential adversaries seem to completely control the narratives on almost all of these conflicts. Not good.