David Blackburn

Diplomacy in action

Diplomacy in action
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It's obviously excellent news that the five British sailors incarcerated by Iran on Monday night have been released without incident. Exacerbating already strained diplomatic tensions would have been an enormous temptation to the Iranian regime and David Miliband is right to commend their "professional" conduct in this matter. Miliband said

"The Iranian authorities gave us every indication that they wanted to deal with this in a straightforward, consular way.

It was never a political matter and I welcome the fact they have dealt with it in this professional way."

The Foreign Secretary added, "it proves that diplomacy can work". Well yes, but there is a world of difference between Iran releasing some rudderless yatchsmen and Iran bowing to diplomatic pressure over its nuclear programme.