October 30, 2005


Fanning flames of hatred fuels a diplomatic meltdown (Trevor Royle, 10/30/05, Sunday Herald)

What can done with Iran? The question has been troubling the minds of Western diplomats for the past three years. Ever since President George W Bush and his “coalition of the willing” decided to attack Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein the next issue has always been its unruly neighbour to the east. Should the policy be conciliatory or threatening? Last week it became depressingly clear that the threat of harsher measures was suddenly back on the agenda.

Following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ill-advised comments about destroying Israel, Prime Minister Tony Blair is actively advocating a more aggressive line towards Iran. In place of containment and partnership in comes a more pro-active stance which does not rule out the use of force. After weeks of frustration over Iran’s refusal to heed international guidelines on the development of its nuclear industry and amid suspicions that Iraqi insurgents are receiving support and weapons from Iran’s Republican Guards, Britain has decided to take a much tougher line.

“It was a foolish remark for any leader to make about another country, but in the Middle East it’s doubly explosive,” said a senior British diplomat. “Fortunately his outburst hasn’t met with much enthusiasm in the region other than an embarrassed diplomatic silence, but even so, Ahmadinejad may have gone too far on this occasion. He’s also pushed us into a position where many countries will be reconsidering their policy towards Iran.”

The response may not be what the Iranian president was expecting...

Maybe he reads the Western media and thought that the Axis of Good would be deterred by the rather minimal casualties in Iraq?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2005 12:19 PM

AFter reading EU Referendum, I'd like Tony to answer with whose army.

It won't be Britain's.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 30, 2005 6:13 PM

Perhaps Ahmadinejad fancies himself Cyrus, or Xerxes.

He should know that the Brits aren't going to quake and be servile (like the French); they aren't going to smile and keep business as usual (like the Germans); and they aren't going to be 'diplomatic' forever. And he should know that his people probably like the West more than they like him.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 30, 2005 6:45 PM

Fortunately his outburst hasnt met with much enthusiasm in the region other than an embarrassed diplomatic silence....

But just what if all this---gosh---"embarrassment" is caused by the sentiment that goes something like:

"Yeah, he may be a Iranian (nudge, wink) screwball, Shi'ite prima donna; still, you know (and I know---we all know) that he's dead on, right as rain; BUT WHY THE @#!&* DOES HE HAVE TO SAY SO OUT LOUD?!!!! IN FRONT OF EVERYONE?!! DAMN FOOL FARSI, WITH FUL FOR BRAINS. BLITHERING IDIOT! WHY CAN'T HE JUST KEEP QUIET AND KEEP THE PROGRAM HUMMING SMOOTHLY?!!!....


Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 31, 2005 2:29 AM

Another Cyrus? Hardly, considering that Cyrus ordered the Temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt.

Posted by: Eugene S. at October 31, 2005 6:07 AM


We know that - but I'll bet he's ashamed of it.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 31, 2005 11:51 AM
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