British Diplomatic Efforts in Iran
The New York Times
Blair Seeking Diplomatic Solution to Iran Standoff
The Washington Post
Britain Ready to Send Team to Iran for Negotiations
Recent hostilities between Iran and Western governments, the United States and Britain, have caused British officials, such as Prime Minister Tony Blair, to actively seek diplomatic efforts with the Iranian government, however, not ruling out other options. The New York Times and the Washington have focused on these efforts in relation to the recent kidnapping of 15 British soldiers, and the effect of these efforts on United States policy.
The New York Times article focused solely on the Blair's emphasis on working bilaterally and keeping an "open door" with the Iranian government regarding the kidnapped soldiers, including recently released pictures of relaxed-looking soldiers despite the Iranian government's promise not to release any more images and that the Iranian president had postponed a recently scheduled press conference after the prime minister's comments. The end of the article ties in American involvement, seeming to juxtapose US policy in quoting Bush calling the Iranian actions "indefensible." The article reads smoothly, and is not too bogged down with details, focusing mostly on the diplomatic efforts of the British governement under pressure.
The Washington Post article includes much more detailed information, with a lead that is not as effective because instead of a "48-hour" release element, it includes a "12-day" process, and "bilateral" talks, and "technical team," in the first two paragraphs. Therefore, the beginning of the article is slow, with too much emphasis on detain and not enough of a human focus. However, the article tied in a separate story of the recently released Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped by militants wearing Iraqi army uniforms. The article said that US officials deny both Iraqi and American involvement. (aHowever, in a separate New York Times article, a US official is said to only have deny US involvement; although this may not be the same official, both sources must presumably be of similar credibility. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Iran-Diplomat-Seized.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin). The article cites both Middle Eastern and American sources crediting and discrediting a connection between the two events, but emphasizes the possibility of such a connection. This angle is interesting, and although may be somewhat far-fetched, is intriguing nonetheless.
I preferred the Washington Post article based on content and provision of context for the reader in terms of current US involvment in Iran in a similar kidnapping case. However, the Times article is easier and more pleasing to read, and because I am familiar with both stories, I prefer them separately, however the coicidence possible connection was fun to read about.