Here's more indication, from the Times of London, of how well the new diplomatic engagement approach is going:
A group funded, trained and armed by Iran was responsible for kidnapping five British civilians in Baghdad last month, according to the commander of US forces in Iraq.
General David Petraeus told The Times yesterday that he believed that the men, four security guards and a consultant, were alive and added that there had been repeated attempts to free them. No demands have been made for their release.
Commandos searching for the hostages have staged a series of raids on suspected terrorist hide-outs. “There have been several operations to try to rescue them, we just have not had the right intelligence,” General Petraeus said. “There is a very intensive effort ongoing to try to locate and rescue them.”
The remarks are the first official acknowledgement of secret hostage rescue efforts that the British authorities refuse to comment on. They are also likely to inflame relations with Iran further. The general said that the terrorist cell responsible had very close ties to the Iranian authorities, but he fell short of accusing Tehran of complicity. ...