Brits in the Gulf-Playing with Fire (2)

It was a small step for a Bush administration, which had dismissed the Geneva Conventions as "quaint," to run roughshod over diplomatic niceties as well. Part of the payback may be the current crisis involving British seamen seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy in the disputed waters of the Gulf.

It’s a context that for some reason has been ignored by most of the mainstream media.
First, in December, 2006, U.S. forces in two raids in Iraq detained several Iranians they claimed were suspected of planning attacks in Iraq. The Iranians immediately protested. But so surprisingly did a spokesman for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani , who said the President was working to obtain the Iranians’ release. He claimed that they had been invited to Iraq by the President to help improve the situation. Two of the officials who had diplomatic immunity were subsequently freed; the others remained in American custody.

The Iranian foreign ministry said the arrests contravened international law and might have “unpleasant repercussions.”


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