Hikers’ families turn to the U.N., finallyJul 6th, 2011
Kayvan Kaboli, 7.2.2011
After two years of sorrow and worrisome, families of Josh Fattai and Shane Bauer appealed to Ban Ki-Moon for help. CNN reported the families of hikers detained in Iran with charge of espionage met the U.N. Secretary-General and asked him to intervene just a month away to a trial which was postponed last month.
The third hiker, Sarah Shourd was released after 13 month and returned home trying to help left behind friends in Iran.
According to Laura Fattal, Josh’s mother, CNN reported, “In a private meeting, Ban told the families that the two Americans’ detention was totally unacceptable. He promised to continue to urge Iran to finally live up to its promises of justice and compassion, and release Josh and Shane immediately and unconditionally.”
Islamic regime in Iran has been utilizing hostage taking as a powerful tool from day one . This actually was the regime’s strategy and tactic for the past 33 years. It started with American Embassy in Tehran that lasted 444 days. Khomeini used American hostages not only against the U.S. but to oust the liberal prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan.
During the 1980s, for almost a decade, US and European nationals were chased and taken hostage in Lebanon.
Then, Iran filled the political vacuum created after the end of the cold war and expanded its hegemony over the region through its fundamentalist proxies. Therefore, the Middle East peace process and the whole region became Iran’s hostage.
The main reason for the regime’s persistence in its dark practice has been the profitability of this business. Almost every time, the West played into the regime’s game and paid the ransom. But whenever the Mullahs felt a strong opposition to their demand, they retreated.
A few years ago, the Iranian regime captured a group of British sailors and tried to use them as a bargaining chip. Once the British government sent a strong and serious message, Ahmadinejad felt the vibe. Sailors were released immediately carrying souvenir and dressing new suits as Ahmadinejad’s present.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration did not handle the case of hikers the same way that Brits did. Perhaps, the administration did not want to jeopardize the possible negotiation that was futile from beginning anyway. Hikers’ families paid the price for the U.S. officials hope to bring the other side on the table.
Iranian people know their ruling regime well as Mullahs will only cede when they are pushed back. They will cave if the other side is decisive.