Like me, Donald Klein finds it incomprehensible that Berlin was not able to move more quickly in expediting his release from an Iranian prison. One wonders why they couldn’t pay Iran off faster, in other words. Or did they not pay, for once? Arrested while fishing in the Straits of Hormuz, or so he says, Klein was sentenced to eighteen months in prison in a quickly improvised show trail in Teheran and spent all but three months of his sentence in jail.

“So I’m not worth anything?” asks the fisherman incredulously, obviously referring to the series of German hostages captured elsewhere who were paid for and released in no time. Somehow bitter and disillusioned abut his 468 day jail cell stay, Herr Klein has decided never to travel to a Muslim country again. He also plans to write a book about his experience. And he has also made the self-realization that he doesn’t believe in forgiveness or turning the other cheek anymore.

That the British don’t care to turn their cheeks, much less pay ransom, is a well-known fact. No self-realization process necessary here. And something tells me that should Teheran have been trying to set an example with the Klein case, they won’t be setting a very good example with this one. Unless it’s an example about how to burn yourself when playing with fire, that is.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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