Monday, April 02, 2007

The Iran hostage affair, what is going on?

Obviously I am some what angry that our service personnel have effectively been kidnapped on the high seas. I am somewhat perturbed that the Lynx helicopter that was covering the patrol had to return to the Coventry because it was running out of fuel. However lots of other people have provided plenty of comment on that, so I won't go further.

What I did want to say was that the Iranian government does not work the way ours does. There is no central authority with absolute control over all arms. Frankly it is a bit of a mess. President Ahmadinejad controls some aspects but is by no means supreme, he is however closer to the Revolutionary guard than his predecessor. Then their is the revolutionary guard who seem to be able to do some things on their own, like for example instigate this crisis.

The interesting thing about this crisis is the timing. It happened when everyone who was anyone was off on their holidays for the Persian new year. It has apparently been hard to find someone sensible to talk to.

Be thankful that at least our government has some control over our armed forces.

Then there is the other complicating factor. Where is the border? The short answer is apparently that outside of the Shat al Arab it has not actually been agreed, but rather more importantly that in the Shat al Arab it moves as the banks of the delta move.

In the first gulf war the Foreign offices reaction to this complexity was to sanction the interception of shipping whilst it remained in undisputed, preferably international waters as it avoids any doubt.

That does leave two awkward questions.

Why are our helicopters running out of fuel whilst watching over our patrols without a replacement?

Why are we not using a perfectly sensible way of intercepting shipping that we were using 16 years ago?

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