April 3, 2007

CRACK THAT WHIP:

Iran, Britain Tone Down Rhetoric (Mary Jordan, 4/03/07, Washington Post)

Iranian officials said Monday that all 15 British sailors and marines arrested March 23 have admitted to illegally entering Iranian waters, but the officials said they would not broadcast any further "confessions" on Iranian television due to positive "changes" in British attitude.

It was unclear what changes Iranian officials were referring to, but after a flurry of behind-the-scenes diplomatic discussions and an official exchange of letters, British officials noticeably toned down their rhetoric Monday over the seizure of the crew. [...]

In another sign that a solution to the crisis might be edging closer, Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said in an interview with Britain's Channel 4 News that Iran favored a diplomatic end to the dispute without a trial for the navy crew.

Though Iranians were "100 percent" sure of their case, "definitely our priority would not be trial," Larijani said. "Our priority is to solve the problem through proper diplomatic channels. We are not interested in having this issue get further complicated."

Chris Rundle, a former British diplomat in Tehran, characterized the day's developments as "slightly good news. They are not escalating the propaganda."

Rundle said hard-liners in Iran have gained by showing that "they are willing to take on the Lesser Satan," as some Iranians call Britain, in contrast to the United States as the "Great Satan." Perhaps the captives' usefulness is running out, Rundle said.


Rather the hard-liners are being brought to heel.


MORE:
'Door is open' if Iran wants talks, Blair says (The Associated Press, April 3, 2007)

The next two days will be "fairly critical" to resolving the dispute over a seized Royal Navy crew, Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Tuesday, after Iran's chief international negotiator offered a new approach to ending the standoff.

Blair told Scotland's Real Radio that Ali Larijani's suggestion of talks offered hope for an end to the crisis. "If they want to resolve this in a diplomatic way the door is open," the prime minister said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 3, 2007 7:06 AM
Comments

It must get awfully confusing at times in Tehran - Great Satan, Lesser Satan, Little Satan, Satan Junior, Lap-Dog of Satan, Coffe-Cup of Satan...

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2007 7:41 AM

It must get awfully confusing at times in Tehran - Great Satan, Lesser Satan, Little Satan, Satan Junior, Lap-Dog of Satan, Coffe-Cup of Satan...

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2007 7:43 AM

"all 15 British sailors and marines arrested March 23 have admitted to illegally entering Iranian waters"

That means that noted political analysts Orrin Judd and Rosie O'Donnell were correct.

Posted by: h-man at April 3, 2007 10:31 AM

"Rather the hard-liners are being brought to heel."

Must take an awful lot of effort to be so incredibly determined to ignore the facts of the matter here...

Posted by: b at April 3, 2007 10:56 AM

You hardly need to be an analyst or determined to grasp the obvious.

Posted by: oj at April 3, 2007 2:08 PM

The only relevant fact is that the 15 Brits are still being held hostage in Iran. Pretending that mutterings of "Oh, we're sure that this can all be resolved soon" is anything but Iran treating the UK with contempt is willfully obtuse. The whole thing is utterly indistinguishable from the rhetoric employed in the first couple of weeks after the embassy storming in 1979.

Posted by: b at April 3, 2007 2:34 PM

See? What could be more obvious than that it's an act of contempt that they know will work because it always has?

Posted by: oj at April 3, 2007 3:39 PM
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