UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband called the arrests "harassment" and dismissed the allegations as baseless.
The apparent Iranian conviction that Britiain is the power behind the protests is almost touching. They must be the only people left who think we have any. Or maybe not. It’s interesting that the detentions came very shortly after Obama said a few kind words about Mousavi. There’s no official US mission in Iran, so it’s hard not to see the Iranian government using Britain as a proxy.
The convenient thing about this is that you can make your opposition to US power clear without actually doing anything to materially antagonise the Americans. So also, perhaps, the detention of British sailors by the IRGC a couple of years back. It’s hard to conceive of the Iranians publicly attacking US naval assets in the same way that it’s hard to believe that Iraq would have been invaded if the people who did it really believed that it had weapons of mass destruction.
So, what ‘s the message? We’re still here. We’re still running the place. We’re still your antagonist. But we’re not going to do anything really crazy. Back to normal, really.
Interesting, meanwhile, that it’s the EU first to speak up on behalf of the detained British diplomats. I wonder if they’ll bother when Cameron’s in charge and taking the march past of the veterans of the Latvian SS.*
*sorry, veterans of the "Waffen divisions of the Wehrmacht"