I think it’s pretty clear that the Brits are just trying to find out how much it costs, and intend to pay it. I suspect that the miraculous appearance of that Iranian “diplomat” today was done–whether by CIA or MI6 I can’t tell you–as a down payment on the deal. And I fear we are prepared to contribute to the pot. The Iraqi Government is asking us to release those Quds Force guys we arrested in Irbil a while back. If we do it, you can be sure we’re “helping” our British allies.
Trouble is, this is a losing game. We’ll fork over what we think is full payment, and the mullahs will release a hostage or two and then start haggling over the price for the next one. I’ll never forget the day we thought we were going to get that poor devil Buckley, only to see the dreadful anti-American Reverend Weir come out of his prison and start denouncing the evil Ronald Reagan (who’d just saved Weir’s life, after all).
Civilized nations can’t win games of this sort against cynical Islamic Fascists. We have to make them play our game. Shut down their oil refineries and then talk some more. Let them be really green; no more gasoline.