Iranian president Ahmadinejad did just announce that the Brits will be released today. As some of us predicted, the quid pro quo included concessions by the United States-we know that Iranian officials will now be allowed to visit the five Iranian “diplomats” detained by the United States in Iraq for supporting the insurgency.
What we haven’t seen yet-but it probably won’t be long-are the details of the promises Iran extracted concerning its territorial integrity. Iran knows that as it races towards nuclear breakout, it is getting very close to a military confrontation with the United States. Getting the British to agree to back down from the nuclear standoff-and getting them to promise not to allow the U.S. to use the airbase at Diego Garcia-would be an enormous victory for the Mullahs. And it shouldn’t be long before they start bragging about it.
I think Loyola’s hunch is probably right; as I wrote in my column today, I suspect the nuclear issue was at least as important a part of this gambit by the Revolutionary Guards as the detained Iranians in Iraq.
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