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3 idiots on spying charges in Tehran 10, November 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Iran.
Tags: , ,

Three Americans who were apparently on holiday hiking in Iraq and Iran have been arrested and are to stand trial for spying according to Iranian officials. The families of the three said that they were in Iraq and must have accidentally crossed the border into Iran.

Recent history does not necessarily auger well for the three. Iran accuse the Americans of kidnapping several of their citizens in recent years including one of their nuclear scientists when he was on his pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Whilst it is, of course, unfair that these three tourists were arrested and may well become part of some diplomatic score-settling, I’ve just got to comment on their utter stupidity: hiking in Iraq and Iran, what were they thinking?

Everyone wants the ‘unique’ holiday experience. Personally, I’ve wandered around Central Asia and the Fergana Valley so I really can identify with the desire to go somewhere new or untouched or any other cliche you care to mention. While the Fergana Valley is hardly Paris or Rome and is somewhat ‘frisky’ in places, it is still far from Iraq or illegally entering Iran.

What could possibly have gone wrong? Three young Americans (military age, perhaps?) wandering around a recently invaded country with massive law and order problems, severe and acute hatred of Americans and with frequent bombings in parts? The only way to make this absurd trip better would be to go hiking near the Iranian border. What a brilliant idea! After all, I’m sure that the border has a little picket fence all along the way and it is 100% clear exactly where the border is. But then again, if they do go over, it’s not as if they’d be illegally entering a country that has explicitly, overtly, consistently and vociferously denounced their country as the Devil himself; would dearly, dearly love the chance to get ahold of some extra diplomatic capital – sorry, I mean American, citizens -; is currently contemplating engaging in complex and tender negotiations with their country; has an illustrious history of keeping Americans hostage and is, generally speaking, the single worst country for an American to find themselves in illigally…oh, wait a minute…what fools. Ahmadinejad must think it’s Christmas.

However, I doubt they’ll languish in Tehran for too long. I’d imagine that they’d be too valuable to have them sitting in some dank jail or other. I expect them to be treated rather well and, when the time comes, exchanged for a high, high price. These idiots have just cost America either millions of Dollars and/or a chunk of diplomatic capital which was sparse to begin with. When they get back I’ve no doubt they’ll sell their ‘harrowing story’ for top dollar, do the talk-show rounds and it’ll be a great anecdote for them to tell at the bar, meanwhile, not only will their melodramatic little escapade draw attention away from the countless people who are really in prison in Iran but it could easily put a sizable spanner in any US-Iran rapprochement.


1. Ryan - 10, November 2009

Some of the reporting and other sources claim the Iranians snatched them when they were on the Iraqi side of the border, which would not be hard to believe.

davidbroberts - 10, November 2009

Thanks for the comment.

That would not surprise me in the slightest. Indeed, that is exactly what I was attempting to allude to with my remark about the picket fences.

Again, though, while I do feel sorry for them and certainly hope that they come back soon, is the idea of Iranian police snatching them from near the Iranian border that much of a surprise? Do you need a crystal ball to see that that is a real possibility? Would 3 Americans wandering around the Iraqi countryside near the Iranian border not draw a bit of attention?

I am no gifted strategic thinker, futurologist or Nostradamus but this particular concern is – frankly – obvious and they were either exceedingly foolish for not contemplating it or exceedingly reckless for ignoring it.

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