Tehran Flexes Its Muscles


ON SHOW Some of the eight British servicemen detained after their boats strayed into Iranian territorial waters sit on an aircraft en route to the British embassy in Tehran

The pictures had eerie and disturbing echoes: men in blindfolds squatting on the floor looking disoriented, then being forced to march over rocky ground. These were not images of Abu Ghraib, but videos of British servicemen, part of a naval training team, arrested by Iranian forces after straying into Iranian waters during a storm. The sailors quickly apologized on TV, and after four tense days they were released as moderates in Tehran apparently prevailed in an internal power struggle.

But hard-liners in the Revolutionary Guards had seemed eager to goad London, suggesting the men were special forces. According...

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