Saturday, March 24, 2007

Iran says Soldiers Admitted to Trespassing in Iranian Waters

Link on CNN. The British Ministry of Defense isn't backing up the claim, although as we've seen, the Brits have been backing down a little on this question.

Oh, and what the hell is Time babbling about? Their "analysis" of the case essentially comes down to "Iran kidnaps soldiers because they're all horrible nationalist bastards and wanted to "send a message" to the US, gangland-style.

Yes, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is an outfit under the direct control of Ayatollah Khamenei. That doesn't make them suicidally aggressive, especially with how relatively pragmatic Khamenei has shown himself to be over the years. The article itself even admits that "within Tehran political circles [the IRGC commander] is seen as pragmatic" as well; complaining about his extremist public pronouncements without, uh, actually providing any doesn't do wonders for your case, guys. That just implies that the public extremism is a front for more pragmatic leadership.

(But, of course, you never see that in the third world, right?)

I'm still not sure why the IRGC seized these guys, and where they were operating. I really do get the sense that they were in disputed waters, and I take Craig Murray's comments seriously; the Brits may be at fault in this case. Iran may well be "sending a message", too, using completely blameless troops. We need more than "sources" and veiled suggestion, however to determine what's actually going on.

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