“Different phase” coming if Iran doesn’t make nice

We may see Prime Minister Blair take a more aggressive stance on this problem after all.  As expected, the Brits have GPS data to verify the positions of their personnel, but are trying to settle this out of the public eye before they take it all public and, presumably, raise a really big stink.

“What we are trying to do … is to pursue this through the diplomatic channels and make the Iranian government understand these people have to be released and that there is absolutely no justification whatever for holding them,” [British PM Tony] Blair said.

“They have to release them. If not, then this will move into a different phase,” he told Britain’s GMTV television.

Blair’s spokesman said the next step London could take would be to publish proof, in the form of global satellite positioning (GPS) records, that the sailors had not entered Iranian waters.

“We so far haven’t made explicit why we know that because we don’t want to escalate this,” he said.

A government source in London told Reuters British officials were showing Iran data on the sailors’ exact position when seized.

— Paul Hughes, “Blair warns Iran of ‘different phase’“.  Reuters | UK, 27 March 2007.  [Emphasis mine]

Hopefully that phase involves an ultimatum and more proactive measures to secure the release of the captives.  And no small punitive action against the IRGC and Iranian Navy.  You’re not just seeking the release of fifteen captives, but reminding Iran that she may not trespass on another country’s territory at will, and abduct a third party’s sailors and marines because it is politically convenient.

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2 Responses
  1. neo says:

    *
    Here’s what the headlines should read…
    Female “Seaman” bends over, grabs ankles for Iranians.
    Funny how the politically correct argle-bargle falls flat when it’s actually put to the test.
    Speaking to her local newspaper last year, Sea-Person Turney, said… “I love the satisfaction of being able to walk away from a job and know that I have coped and completed the task just as well as a man would have done it.”
    *

  2. Chris Taylor says:

    I don’t think she was a willing participant, Neo. Pressure is always applied in these sort of propaganda show-and-tells because no serviceman (or woman) wants to go back to their mates known as the guy (or girl) who made the enemy look good.
    More than likely all fifteen of them refused and the Iranians started applying stress until someone broke. Doesn’t have to be beatings, could be something as simple as “We’ll make sure your friend over there isn’t going to eat, drink or sleep until you get on camera and say what we want you to say”. Two or three days with constant physical activity and no water will put someone in the grave, no question. And the Brits have been in Iranian custody five days already.
    If someone showed up on TV an hour or two after being captured, it might be a tiny bit more plausible that they caved too early. But these folks apparently held out the two to three days it would take for whatever information they had to become non-current (and therefore tactically useless). That’s good enough for me. No one can hold out indefinitely.