Danny Masterton the Ayrshire Marine and the other 14 British sailors and marines are to be released on Thursday following a surprise announcement by the Iranian president Armedinejad.
Throughout this crisis there have appeared to be different factions operating within the Iranian regime but overall the Iranians have milked this affair for all it is worth. In particular the dramatic and somewhat unexpected announcement of the release appears designed to play to those who are more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the Iranian regime. On the BBC Have Your Say there were many messages thanking the Iranians and one poster - somewhat losing their ability to reason - even suggested that Amedinejad be given the Nobel Prize!
Nevertheless when all is said and done the release is to be welcomed and does open the door slightly to an easing of relations between Iran and the West. No doubt the Iranians hope is that this will gain them some sympathy in the ongoing crisis over their attempts to develop their nuclear technology. This remains to be seen. A great deal of caution will still need to be exercised in dealing with this unpredictable regime. However we should welcome the fact that for the moment dialogue has become more productive and constructive.