Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Iranians must be laughing out loud

If the Iranians were looking for a country to mess with, they definitely picked on the right country.

Britain may be America's closest ally, but it doesn't have the stomach for a fight and the Iranians know it. And if Britain was hoping for the EU or UN to come to its aid, it must be feeling sorely disappointed. The UN has expressed no more than "grave concern" (despite us being on a UN mandated mission), whilst the EU has backed down from any sanctions. So much for multilateral institutions. Meanwhile, the United States has offered moral support but little else, it's too tied down with its own military commitments.

As David Frum notes, we don't even have to resort to military action to get our hostages freed. Iran has a shaky economy, high unemployment and poor infrastructure, sanctions could really hurt them, but the international community are too feeble to even contemplate that.

With no prospect of the hostages being released any time soon, it's all beginning to look like the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, and our Prime Minister is beginning to resemble Jimmy Carter, the embattled President who was turfed out of office as a result of the crisis. Is this what Tony Blair wants to be remembered for?