Monday, March 26, 2007

International politics is so obvious ...

The capture and detention of fifteen British marines by Iran is so blantently a smokescreen for their citizens that you sometimes feel like slapping someones face and asking if its you that's the idiot or them.

Iran has problems within its own borders as do most of the country's in that region and like most of the country's in that region they keep a lid on their problems by ruling with a strict "government", my brothers neighbour is Iranian, a highly respected oil engineer who has worked for BP in this country for many years now and who goes back to Iran once a year or so to visit his family.

He is one of the lucky ones in that he hasn't yet offended anyone and he is allowed a visa to visit and more importantly leave the country again, many of the Iranian friends that he has in the UK cannot go back to their home country, not if they ever want to leave again they can't. Even so, even with an entry and exit visa safely in his pocket at all times, my brothers neighbour is constantly on his guard in Iran and speaks very little to strangers when he is there, even the taxi driver who picks you up at the airport will shop you to the authorites if you answer the wrong way to a seemingly innocent question that he asks you.

And so nations like Iran have to have scapegoats, they have to create external animosity every now and again in order to distract their citizens from their own shortcomings - in recent years it has been the issue of Iran and its nuclear programme and its no coincidence that in the very same week that the British sailors were arrested for allegedly straying into Iranian waters, the United Nations were voting unanimously to impose even stricter sanctions on Iran - a distraction from this bad news for Iranian citizens is what was needed and the opportunity to pick up some foreign military personnel who have been patroling the disputed shatt al-arab sea lanes for a couple of years now was too good to miss.

What happens to our sailors now depends on how much of a distraction the Iranians need, whether they stage a trial or not depends on how badly the UN sanctions are affecting them, if the Iranian government is making a big fuss of the incident to its people then an early release will not be possible - international politics is all so bleedin obvious that it makes you wonder why the politicians go along with the whole diplomacy farce and why Blair can't simply state the facts in public and tell Iran to stop arsing about and come to the table and talk.

No comments: