FIFTEEN British sailors and marines arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards off the coast of Iraq may be charged with spying.
A website run by associates of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, reported last night that the Britons would be put before a court and indicted.
Referring to them as “insurgents”, the site concluded: “If it is proven that they deliberately entered Iranian territory, they will be charged with espionage. If that is proven, they can expect a very serious penalty since according to Iranian law, espionage is one of the most serious offences.”
The warning followed claims by Iranian officials that the British navy personnel had been taken to Tehran, the capital, to explain their “aggressive action” in entering Iranian waters. British officials insist the servicemen were in Iraqi waters when they were held.
Yesterday, I stated that I wasn't the least bit surprised by this recent development. And today is no different.
Iran is slowly starting to lose international support for their activities and is doing what they have historically done in the past, when they are the subject of some intense criticism and scrutiny. They seriously need to up the ante in these kinds of cases, mainly because criminal acts and terrorism are the only forms of leverage they have. They are losing support abroad, so what do they do? They throw an international tantrum, to draw attention to themselves and create a smokescreen for their own crimes.
As we read further into the article we see just what they may be trying to gain from this latest violation of international law:
Iranian student groups called yesterday for the 15 detainees to be held until US forces released five Revolutionary Guards captured in Iraq earlier this year.
First of all, we see the return of the "policy-making" students.
If you are old enough to remember the U.S. Embassy takeover in 1979, you'll also remember that it was Iranian students that invaded and seized it, in direct violation of international law. Never mind that these people (one of which was alleged to have been the current Iranian president) didn't go to classes for several months during the entire ordeal, they were still deemed to be students. And now, we see they have returned to the scene and are projecting a new voice while using an old tried and true tactic, in the world of Iranian policy.
But more than anything, we may be seeing what their true motivation is here.
Certain Iranians have been detained for actively participating in the conspiracies of the Iranian government, for the specific purpose of destabilizing Iraq. In their minds, they may think they have a right to illegally detain others as part of a political blackmail plot in order to gain their release. And who could blame them, especially when the UN and other prominent governing bodies have done little in the past and have been dragging their feet on this issue, today.
Other than a few strongly worded condemnations (to include our illustrious president back then, Jimmy Carter), the world gave Iran a pass in 1979. The only outcome that was noticeable at that time was a validation that extortion and blackmails works. Will we do so again in 2007?