Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blair rebuffed as crisis with Tehran deepens

The Iranian regime these days behaves like a cornered cat that, out of despair, has turned to clawing and caterwauling. Tehran's attempt at taking 15 British servicemen hostage sends a clear a message that 28 years after the seizure of US embassy in Tehran, mullahs still see the world through the prism of intimidation, unruly behavior and of course, terrorism:

Times of London--Britain’s crisis with Iran deepened last night after the Iranian Foreign Minister accused a group of captured British servicemen of committing an act of “aggression”, only hours after Tony Blair appealed for their release.

“The charge against them is their illegal entrance into Iranian territorial waters,” Manouchehr Mottaki, the Foreign Minister, told a press conference in New York. Mr Mottaki said that Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, had requested a telephone conversation with him that was due to take place late last night. But he said that Iran had already provided British officials with details, including GPS coordinates, of the servicemen’s arrest.

The British Ambassador to Tehran was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to explain why 15 service personnel in two inflatable boats had strayed into Iranian territorial waters. “The Iranian authorities intercepted these sailors and Marines in Iranian waters and detained them in Iranian waters. This has happened in the past as well. In terms of legal issues, it’s under investigation,” Mr Mottaki said. His comments were seen as a direct rebuff to the Prime Minister, who only hours earlier had called the seizure of the British servicemen “unjustified and wrong” and demanded their release.