My Photo

Core topic

« Security? Just say no. | Main | Bolton, come home »



Dave Trowbridge

I think David Ignatius in the Washington Post has the most likely reading of this situation, that it's part of an internal power struggle in Iran:

"European officials note that the provocative move comes as speculation grows about new discussions between the United States and Iran -- a dialogue the Revolutionary Guard may oppose. Representatives of the two nations met in Baghdad this month as part of a regional conference on Iraqi security, and it was expected that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would meet her Iranian counterpart at a follow-up meeting in Istanbul in April. That meeting may be in jeopardy if the British sailors and marines aren't returned soon.

"The Revolutionary Guard may also have hoped to sabotage diplomatic negotiations over the nuclear issue. U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said several weeks ago that the United States was getting "pinged all over the world" by Iranian intermediaries who wanted a resumption of talks. Iran's chief negotiator, Ali Larijani, hinted at such a message in his recent contacts with the European Union's top diplomat, Javier Solana. But the prospect of nuclear talks may have been blown out of the water, as it were, until the British issue is resolved.

"Maybe that was the goal of seizing the sailors and marines. The Revolutionary Guard, after all, can't be happy about curbing the nuclear program that would allow it to project power even more aggressively."

Tom Grant

I'd agree with that. Seizing the British hostages locks the whole government into a confrontational posture with the West on several issues. But it's just speculation at this point.

The comments to this entry are closed.