Saturday, April 7, 2007

Iran Crisis: Aftermath

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

A few good articles that help gain a little perspective on the significance of the conflict. This article off of Time.com gives 3 messages Iran may have been giving by detaining the British sailors:

  • Don't think about attacking Iran, because it has the capacity to threaten Western interests in the Gulf and throughout the Middle East, directly as well as through allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine;


  • Expect Iran to instigate trouble if the West continues to punish Iran for what it sees simply as exercising as its legal right to nuclear technology; and,


  • Iran will play tit-for-tat if U.S. forces continue arresting Iranian officials working inside Iraq, as in the Jan. 11 raid on an Iranian consular facility in Erbil where five Iranians were detained.

  • Also, here's an article about the release of the sailors, and who played a role on both sides. Note the last paragraph, and the reality check this crisis has given the British government over its political clout on the world stage.

    It had failed to secure a strong denunciation of Iran's actions from the U.N. Security Council; its European allies were balancing support for Britain against their business interests; and although Prime Minister Tony Blair warned a failure to reach a quick resolution would lead to a "new phase" in response to the detentions, nobody detected in his words the martial sounds of rattling sabers.

    It seems like the U.S and Britain are letting Iran pass for now. I'd imagine a push for new sanctions on the Iranian regime, but to me, this was an act of war. Perhaps it doesn't justify military action against the country, but couldn't the rhetoric of the British be a little harsher?

    Update - Another perspective saying Iran must be handled with patience and restraint.

    Also, the U.S might have offered to scare the Iranians for the British while the sailors were in Iran, involving
    "combat aircrafts patrolling over Iranian bases to show how serious the incident was, the newspaper said in a front page story." The British turned it down, which is too bad because it would have been fun to see how Iran would've reacted.

    Update 2- Here's a pretty weird video of the sailors partying in Iran, from Iranian TV. They were given their 'freedom', then probably told to express their 'joy' in front of the Iranian public.

     
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