In January 2007, the US captured five Iranians providing assistance to the Shi’ite extremists in the south of Iran killing US soldiers. The Bush administration identified the five as members of the Quds Force, an elite unit within the Revolutionary Guard, tasked with fomenting terrorism and undermining the US in Iraq. The BBC reports today that the Obama administration has released them today to the Iraqis as a means of allowing them to go free:
Five Iranian officials held by the US military in Iraq since January 2007 have been freed, according to Iranian state media.
Tehran’s ambassador to Baghdad was quoted as saying US forces had handed the five, whom he said were diplomats, to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.
Hassan Kazemi-Qomi said they would soon be taken to the Iranian embassy.
US forces seized the five in the Kurdish city of Irbil on suspicion of arming and funding Shia militias.
Why do this now? Obviously, it’s appeasement. The Obama administration wants talks with the Iranian mullahs so badly that he’s not only willing to meet with them unconditionally, he’s now fulfilling their conditions to get direct talks. The Iranians had made this an issue every time the subject of direct talks arose.
Normally in these transactions, both sides give. Granted, we have only heard the crowing of the Iranian regime, so we may have received something in return. Did the Iranians pull their infiltrators out of Iraq? Did they at least apologize for the deaths of hundreds of our troops at the hands of Iranians and Iranian-supplied weapons? Did they even pledge to stop at all?
Or did we just cough them up for Obama’s naïve flowers-and-unicorns fantasy that the only reason the Iranians want nukes is because the US has been big meanies to them?
I suspect that it’s the latter.