Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iran frees British sailors

Ahmadinejad awards a medal to Abolqasem Amangah, who captured the hostages.

Iran today freed its 15 British hostages as ` a gift to the UK' in the words of President Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad, who said his decision to release the captured sailors was a gift to mark the birthday of Islam's Prophet Mohammed and Easter, told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA that the Britons will leave Tehran at 8 am Thursday.

"I declare that the people of Iran and the government of Iran -- in full power to place on trial the military people -- to give amnesty and pardon to these 15 people and I announce their freedom and their return to the people of Britain," Ahmadinejad said.

"We were absolutely within our rights, in that our borders were violated, and accordingly had the right to proceed with a trial against the soldiers..but we have decided on humanitarian grounds to be merciful and to free them."

The final scenes in the presidential office, where the 15 naval personnel dutifully thanked Ahmadinejad and the Iranian people for the treatment they had received, was the climax of this particular psychodrama.

So,the question remains: since the mullahs are not exactly noted for `gifts' to their western enemies, what did they receive in exchange for releasing the hostages?

Given that the Brits engaged with Iran's chief negotiator, Ali Larijani, the price was likely a stiff one.

One of my sources tells me that part of the price was Britain's promise to lobby the US for the release of those captured `diplomats' from Iran's Quds Force who were acting as arms importers, trainers and agent provocateurs. And in fact one of them, Jalal Sharafi, was indeed set free by the US Tuesday, and I would not be surprised to see the rest released in the near future.

Britain reportedly even offered to obtain information on the whereabouts of the missing Iranian general Ali Reza Asgari, who defected to the West in February.

I would also not be surprised if Britain did indeed pledge to Iran to `never knowingly enter Iran's waters without permission now or in the future' and refrain from any future retaliation against Iran as I predicted.

This pledge would effectively remove Britain from its commitment in securing the sea lanes to South Iraq and perhaps the entire Gulf. The US Navy will have to pick up the slack.

Iran can celebrate a victory over the West;they have shown that the West is disunited will not respond to an act of aggression, taken the price of crude to a six-month high, boosted Iran's prestige and given weight to Iran's proposition to the rest of the Arab world to consider the mutual security and defense agreements with Iran that were proposed at the Riyadh summit.

And rather than removing tensions, this has only exacerbated Iran's aggression.

The next incident will be much worse and more far reaching...which is how appeasement works.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool, the next step is accepting Israel, we'll see if they've jumped on the peace train...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
kidnap some sailors

trump up some charges
distract the world buy more time