An internal squabble between Iran's radical president and more moderate officials is in evidence in the crisis over the captive British marines and sailors. President Ahmadinejad and his Revolutionary Guards are pushing for a trial. Cooler heads, including Ali Larijani, the diplomat who offered bilateral negotiations yesterday, are pushing back, writes Michael Slackman of the New York Times.
The incident has been used to rally Ahmadinejad's fraying base with anti-British sentiment. But the focus will be on results. "Confronting an aggressor is of course a necessity and national glory," a reform-mindedformer VP wrote in a blog. "But it will be more in Iran’s interest than Britain’s if this crisis is over by diplomatic means as soon as possible.”