American Media & the British-Iranian Standoff

In the case of the U.S. detainment, the Iranian officials were in Iraq legally, with the express permission of the Iraqi government. Conversely, the legal status of the British and American occupation of Iraq has been widely considered illegal under international law at the highest levels of organizations like the United Nations (hence any operations of British or American troops could also be deemed illegal). On another level, the U.S. detainment of the Iranian officials was explicitly authorized at the highest levels of the American government (a clear case of official U.S. provocation against Iran), whereas it was unknown at the time of the reporting of the British-Iranian standoff whether the detainment of British Navy personnel was ordered at the highest levels of the Iranian government or not. Furthermore, Iran’s detainment of British forces paled in comparison to the U.S. detainment of Iranians in terms of potential for inciting a hostile reaction. This is most clearly evident in that the Bush administration explicitly authorized the kidnapping or killing of Iranian government officials within Iraq, whereas the Iranian government made clear no such intentions in terms of its treatment of British detainees. The killing of foreign political officials has been expressly rejected as illegal under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons, both of which the United States and Iran have ratified. The assassination or killing of any Iranian official invited into Iraq, then, represents a violation of the aforementioned international legal protections. Violation of such laws is a sufficient reason in-and-of-itself for major coverage of the U.S. abduction of Iranian officials. read more

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