What’s Behind Iran’s Hostage Taking……?

The recent flagrant action by Iran in Iraqi territorial waters, –which saw commandos from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards snatching 15 of “Her Majesty’s” marines, [a casus belli by deed and definition]– warrants further examination. The timing of the provocative move by Iran, came on the heels of the UNSC imposing tougher sanctions against Iran, in an attempt to further isolate her on the international stage.

As a result, the Iranians have now partially suspended their “cooperation” with the UN body, —as if it had been fully cooperative before then–as well as further frustrating it with their absconding of the 15 British sailors. Something else is at play here that might help to ascertain the true motives behind their choosing to engage in a clear act of war, an editorial in today’s The Wall street Journal gives a few hints as to what they may be.

“Earlier this month, the Sunday Times of London reported that the Revolutionary Guards newspaper Subhi Sadek suggested seizing “a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks.” One possible motive: The apparent defection by Revolutionary Guards commander Ali Reza Asgari, who disappeared in Istanbul last month and is said to know a great deal about Iran’s nuclear program. The Iranians may now be using their hostages as payback for General Asgari’s defection–or as ransom for his return.

Given the Iranian regime’s past success with hostage-taking–whether with U.S. diplomats in Tehran in 1979 or Westerners in Beirut in the 1980s–they may also figure that Prime Minister Tony Blair is willing to pay a steep price to secure release of the sailors before he leaves office later this year. Or perhaps the Iranians want to bargain with Mr. Blair’s successor, presumably Chancellor Gordon Brown, whom they might suspect would take a softer line at the U.N. They may also be trying to create a rift between the U.S. and U.K. by offering to trade the British troops for Iranians the U.S. has recently detained inside Iraq.

It’s also possible, as Walid Phares of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies points out, that the Iranian leadership may be seeking to draw Britain (and the U.S.) into limited military skirmishes that they think could shore up domestic support against widening popular discontent.”

All of the scenarios mentioned are highly plausible, with one or a perhaps combination of them being the driving force behind the hostage taking. The main question we need to be asking ourselves at this point is, what will be the reaction/response from not only the Brits, but from the US and UNSC as well? The editorial goes further to point out that:

“It is worth recalling, however, that Iran was at its most diplomatically pliant after the United States sank much of Tehran’s navy after Iran tried to disrupt oil traffic in the Persian Gulf in the late 1980s.”

There are plenty of responses that the international community can bring to bear if the collective will is to be found, perhaps one could be in the blockade of Iranian ports from the importing of petrol it so desperately needs.
One point of interest to me is, the general lack of enthusiasm in the Finnish media to report the Iranian hostage taking as an act of war, as well as Iran’s intention to try the British marines –who were in full uniform at the time they were took hostage– as spies, which is a clear breach of the Geneva Conventions.

It appears the Finnish media is only concerned about the Geneva Conventions when it involves an action taken by the US or Israeli military. Only then can we be assured to hear or read about the Geneva Conventions being violated…..without fail. As of yet, (and as far as I can tell) not a single major Finnish news media outlet has even dared to broach the subject. More here *L* KGS

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