Thursday, November 03, 2005

Iran's double talk

After a small bomb outside British companies offices and news of a massive shakeup of Iran's diplomats, the rumor mill in Teheran is churning with speculation about some unexpected move, possibly the occupation of a Western embassy.

On Wednesday morning, an explosion occurred in front of the offices of British Airways and British Petroleum. Participants at a rally to celebrate the anniversary of the 1979 occupation of the American embassy in Tehran, received a warning without any reason a few hours before the rally, not to go near the British embassy not other British interests in the country.

The worst thing the UK, France and Germany could possibly do now would be to retreat and soften their negotiating stance on Iran's nuclear activities because of Teheran's threats. All that Ahmadinejad has done and said since he was "elected" president indicates weakness and insecurity, which make him extremely dangerous; however, he doesn't seem to understand that the world - and Iran - has changed a lot since 1979. This is the moment to increase pressure by isolating Iran and Syria.

Iran's interior minister has denied students permission to hold a counter-demonstration outside the Italian embassy in Tehran on Thursday in response to one being held in the Italian capital, Rome, to protest Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for the removal of Israel from the map. The Rome rally, which will take place in front of the Iranian embassy, was organised by right wing newspaper Il Foglio, but politicians of various hues will be taking part.
The news agency Parsa has said that the students of Basij, a popular militia group, have said that they intend to hold a rally against the "Zionist Italians". Iran's interior minister however has said that no authorisation has been given for such a rally.

Regarding the demonstration in Rome tonight (see preceding post), Iran has announced that it will not allow a counter demonstration in front of the Italian Embassy tomorrow. Do not believe it: they usually make these statements in order to: a) deny responsibility for eventual incidents they might have organized and b) demonstrate that "popular outrage" is so genuine and heart-felt that people even disobey the law to show it.

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