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The Collective
Friday, April 6, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: ‘No deal done with Iran’ - Blair

Prime Minister Tony Blair has insisted no deal was done to free 15 Royal Navy crew members, as they arrived in the UK after being held in Iran for 13 days.

They were released “without any deal, without any negotiation, without any side agreement of any nature”, he said.

British officials also denied that the UK had apologised over the incident.

One would hope that, in fact, that is the case, as one does not want to see such behavior rewarded. Still, one has to wonder if there was nothing that was done that led to the release. Specifically there has been speculation that access was granted to Iranians being held in Iraq as part of a quid quo pro. The story makes this reference in that regard:

He added that while no deal was done by the UK over Iranians being held in Iraq, it was possible that the Iraqi government might have taken some sort of initiative.

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Filed under: Global Politics, Iran | |

2 Comments

  1. Granting access to people in jail is hardly a concession. And if they are indeed diplomats, as Iran states, then they shouldn’t really be in prison this long, should they? Has it been more than a fortnight since they were arrested?

    As to the behaviour that shouldn’t be rewarded, I suppose you are referring to the “TV confessions”, and not the actual capture or release of the soldiers. After all, they may be “axis of evil”, but they are entitled to their sovereignty as a nation.

    I doubt that there was much diplomacy between Iran and the UK (unfortunately). In order to bargain both sides must have something to offer. What could the UK offer, without an unacceptable loss of face? Not even an apology to get their people back.

    Regards and good Easter.

    Comment by james — Friday, April 6, 2007 @ 8:52 am

  2. I agree that all states have the right to protect their territory. I can even live with the notion that the Iranians were acting in good faith over their territorial waters. (Although I am skeptical).

    However, their behavior in terms of threatening trials of espionage, tv confessions and holding them for almost two weeks was unnecessary.

    I wold agree that, in general, access to prisoners should not be a concession. However, if in this specific context the access was granted as a result of the hostage taking itself, I find that problematic.

    A Happy Easter to you as well.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, April 6, 2007 @ 9:11 am

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