Monday, June 21, 2004

What's Up With This? From the wire:
Iran seized three British military patrol boats Monday in the Shatt-al-Arab waterway, Iraq's main link with the Persian Gulf, and state media said eight armed crewmen were detained for entering Iranian territorial waters . . .

Monday's incident follows a strain in relations after Britain helped draft a resolution rebuking Iran for past nuclear cover-ups at last week's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors.

It takes some stones to eff with the Brits. Granted, it's not the same country that stood on principle (however unpopular that principle was at the post-colonial studies department at Brown) to fight for the Falklands under Iron Maggie. Still, it's not like the IAEA was going to suggest a three-week ultimatum to Teheran -- hand over the nuke stuff or the U.S. Marines will take the opportunity of Iraqi sovereignty to move next door and pull some beards.

Seems like there's nothing for Teheran to gain from this provocation. Imagine if it were Iran, rather than China, that had downed and captured a U.S. spyplane and its crew. I think the negotiating process would have gone a little quicker -- and with a lot less bowing and scraping by our diplo-crats.

It will be interesting to see what the Brits do.

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