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Britain's kidnapping crisis

March 28, 2007

Re "Britain demands Iran free 15," March 24

Does anyone believe it is a coincidence that the Iranian navy snatched 15 British servicemen in Iraqi waters just before the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution imposing heavier sanctions on Iran for the continuing development of nuclear weapons? Does anyone believe that it is coincidental that, after Hamas and Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers, Iran did the same with British soldiers? Iran gets PR value, and it can use the soldiers for propaganda purposes and as hostages for potential exchange for political purposes. Kidnapping enemy soldiers is a hallmark of terrorist organizations and states. Iran did it before. It is a terrorist state.

JACK COHEN

Netanya, Israel

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British Prime Minister Tony Blair has three options to rescue the 15 British service members detained by Iran. These options may seem drastic, but the situation is grave. The first option is to write a strongly worded letter, filled with exclamation points and capital letters. It may in fact end up taking several letters, but patience will surely pay off. Blair's next option is to travel to Tehran and protest in person to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the unlikely event that these tactics prove ineffective, Blair should simply wait it out until Ronald Reagan takes office. At that time, out of the goodness of his heart, Ahmadinejad will surely release the detainees.

JOEL LEVIN

Valley Village

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Re "More sanctions against Iran likely," March 24

The U.S. and Britain need to push aside the wishy-washy, backstabbing U.N. Security Council and start playing hardball. Russia will pretend to support sanctions while secretly trading nuclear materials and technology for Iran's oil. Indonesia and Qatar, sympathetic to Iran's cause, want Israel to get rid of its nuclear weapons. It is these facts that give Ahmadinejad the courage to kidnap and hold hostage British sailors and tell the world he will not back down.

HELEN BROOME

Fullerton

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