Breaking: Blair ratchets up on Iran Crisis.

Begin to expect updates as they become available. This could be the tipping point to war with Iran. So we are going to stay as on top of it as possible. If we are wrong, and hopefully we are, you’ll just have read way to much Tony Blair. No harm in that I suppose. Canada

March 28 (Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped up a diplomatic push on Iran to release 15 U.K. sailors captured six days ago, asking help from allies and saying Britain’s boats were 1.7 miles into Iraqi waters when the raid occurred.

“It is now time to ratchet up the pressure,” Blair said in Parliament in London today. The capture of the U.K. personnel was “wrong and completely illegal.”

The comments escalate the British effort, bringing the argument with Iran into the public. Blair had avoided a clash until now, attempting to defuse the situation through private discussions.

Even before the sailors were taken into custody, the United Nations Security Council was working to punish Iran for failing to cooperate with inspectors probing its nuclear energy program. The council voted on March 24 to freeze assets of a state-owned Iranian bank and impose penalties on military commanders.

“There is concern that Tehran will either try to put the personnel on trial or will seek a tough diplomatic bargain,” said Simon Henderson, analyst of Near East policy at the Washington Institute. Another possibility is seeking “some concession on the growing nuclear crisis.”


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