That Iran Thing
I know quite a few Iranians here in Dubai and they are without exception lovely people, but I guess they are the smart ones who had the means to escape from the craziness of their current government. They certainly do not behave anything like the crackpot Ahmedinejad, the ladies do not cover themselves up, and all in all they are perfectly normal people who enjoy a beer and a good time.
I've not seen the movie '300' either, but I do believe that Persia/Iran has a stupendous history and culture, and what is happening there now is a complete travesty.
Occasionally you see articles in the press about why it is almost impossible to negotiate with Iranians. They are obsessed by face (this is important in most Eastern cultures too - loss of face is about the worst thing that can happen to you, short of actually dying). Whereas Westerners might suffer from a bit of pride, they can also admit that they have been wrong without dying of shame. It's a big, big difference. So an Iranian negotiator considers that you have already lost face by the simple reason that you are willing to negotiate. Bare-faced lies are also crucial to the art of negotiation.
The parading of the captives making forced 'confessions' on TV was disgusting. What has now been released about how they were actually treated is vile. Ahmedinejad's statement that they were being pardoned as a 'gift to the British people' was ludicrous, and today's demand for a bit of goodwill - help to get 5 Iranians held by the US released - from Iran's UK Ambassador is just one prod too much. I'll be surprised if he's not on a plane home by the end of the week.
Incidentally, Betterarf reckons the Brits would have been released a few days earlier, but the tailors that were hired to make the appallingly bad grey suits that the Brits were sent home in were all on holiday for NowRooz.
Happy Easter y'all.