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FROM THIS EPISODE

Iran today abruptly announced the release of 14 men and one woman captured in disputed waters a week and a half ago.   Britain did not concede they trespassed on Iranian waters.  Tony Blair said the release was accomplished without confrontation--or negotiation.  Was there a deal or did Iran provide a surprise "gift" to the British people, as its president claimed? Was the US involved in a swap for Iranians held in Iraq?  Also, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conducts international diplomacy in Syria. Is she undermining President Bush or is it time for a breakthrough?

Producers:
Dan Konecky
Katie Cooper
Frances Anderton

Making News Iran's Ahmadinejad Announces Release of British Captives 21 MIN, 39 SEC

Iran today abruptly announced the release of 14 men and one woman captured in disputed waters a week and a half ago. Britain did not concede they trespassed on Iranian waters.  Tony Blair said the release was accomplished without confrontation or negotiation. Was there a deal or did Iran provide a surprise "gift" to the British people, as its president claimed? Was the US involved in a swap for Iranians held in Iraq? 

Guests:
Delphine Minoui, Reporter for Le Figaro
Mary Dejevsky, The Independent
Dafna Linzer, ProPublica
Hassan Fattah, Middle East Correspondent, New York Times

Main Topic Speaker Pelosi Conducts Her Own Diplomacy in Syria 26 MIN, 16 SEC

Despite President Bush's objections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met today in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Afterward, Pelosi told reporters she "expressed concern" about Syria's support of Hamas and Hezbollah.  She also carried the message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Omert that he is ready for peace talks.  Describing the meeting, Syrian cabinet minister Bouthaina Shaaban said praised Pelosi for sending the right message to the Arab people and for coming to the region to "solve problems rather than to launch wars." The meeting--which Syrian officials are calling a "victory"--is being carefully watched in Lebanon. Is Pelosi's international diplomacy in Syria undermining President Bush or is it time for a breakthrough? We hear from journalists in the US and Middle East, historians and policy experts.

Guests:
Hassan Fattah, Middle East Correspondent, New York Times
Michael Young, Daily Star
Joshua Landis, University of Oklahoma (@joshua_landis)
Brian Darling, Director of Senate Relations at the Heritage Foundation
Charles Kupchan, National Security Council (@CFR_org)

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