Crises & Lost Opportunities: London, Tehran, & The “British 15”

Prof. Scott Lucas                                                                                           

             In the public domain, the recent dispute over the detention of 15 British sailors and marines by Iranian authorities was a large but singular wave. Arising suddenly and dominating political and media discussion in Britain and Iran for almost two weeks, breaking equally quickly with President Ahmedinejad’s surprise announcement of the detainees’ release, complete with presentation of suits and gifts, the crisis within days left only the ripples of whether or not the detainees should be allowed to sell their stories to the British media. Any closer inspection of the waters — in the Persian Gulf and beyond — would show, however, that the denouement was a false one. Indeed Prime Minister Blair highlighted this with his choreographed reaction, before cameras in front of 10 Downing Street, 24 hours after the climactic Ahmedinejad statement.


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