Monday, April 9, 2007

More Kidnapping?

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

As we said here at Show Me The Rules, this story would not end with the release of the 15 British sailors, and indeed it hasn't.

Hardliners in the Iranian regime have warned that the seizure of British naval personnel demonstrates that they can make trouble for the West whenever they want to and do so with impunity.

The bullish reaction from Teheran will reinforce the fears of western diplomats and military officials that more kidnap attempts may be planned.

The British handling of the crisis has been regarded with some concern in Washington, and a Pentagon defence official told The Sunday Telegraph: "The fear now is that this could be the first of many. If the Brits don't change their rules of engagement, the Iranians could take more hostages almost at will.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Of course this all should make complete sense. Think about it: if you ruled a country in authoritarian fashion like Iran does, and one of your cheap tricks of political propaganda manages to make you seem somewhat sane to the world, why not do it again? Iran is a threat to the world without nuclear weapons, what the hell would happen if they got their hands on some?

For a good blog on reformist news in Iran, check out Regime Change Iran.

Also, some side stories I wanted to blog about but didn't think they deserved their own posts:

-Iran tries to counter claims of abuse leveled against it by the former captive British, releasing new video showing the sailors playing chess and watching television.

-Iranian Diplomat claims CIA tortured him during his abduction in Iraq by joint American-Iraqi forces. Obviously, the timing is suspicious, and suggests it was orchestrated to counter claims of abuse by the British.

-Apparently this whole soldier crisis deal is making Ahmadinijad a rock star on the Arab street. Reaction from the financial times.

Update - I'm not sure how I missed this story, but Ahmadinijad announces today that Iran has "entered the group of countries that produce nuclear fuel industrially". Looks like Iran knows it has fresh sanctions coming its way, and is trying to act defiant in front of the world.

 
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