Monday, June 29, 2009

Iran warned by EU after British embassy workers arrested.

The Iranians have been so keen to push the story that the British are behind all the protests on Iran's streets that they have now arrested nine Iranians who work at the British embassy in Tehran.

It has produced a furious response from Britain and the rest of the EU:

David Miliband demanded last night that British embassy staff arrested in Tehran be released as the EU warned of a "strong and collective response" to the latest spat between Iran and the west over post-election unrest.

The foreign secretary denied that the employees, all Iranians, had played a "significant role" in clashes between security forces and demonstrators complaining about the "theft" of the presidential poll.

"We have protested in strong terms, directly to the Iranian authorities, about the arrests," Miliband said. "The idea that the British embassy is somehow behind the demonstrations and protests that have been taking place in Tehran … is wholly without foundation."

It is certainly a nonsense to believe that people are roaming the streets of Iran because the British government are encouraging them to do so. And it's scapegoating of the worst kind to arrest Iranians who work at the British embassy as if they are somehow co-conspirators in some empirical plot to remove the regime.

Khamenei is now thrashing about like a fish out of water, seeking to blame anyone for the chaos which has afflicted his nation.

But the EU appear to be coming out firmly on Britain's side in this dispute.

The EU's support for Britain over the embassy arrests raised the stakes as the regime continued to pin the blame for the unrest on foreign meddling. "Harassment and intimidation would meet a strong and collective EU response," foreign ministers said in Corfu.

"Obviously the regime is trying to preserve its position by very harsh repression," said Carl Bildt, Sweden's foreign minister, whose country takes over the EU's rotating presidency on 1 July. "But that cannot hide the fact that this is a weakened regime. It has lost legitimacy both internally and externally."

Khamenei can complain as loudly as he likes about "British interference", but we all know that his lack of legitimacy stems from the fact that he came off the political fence and chose a side, a side which an awful lot of Iranians do not seem to agree with.

I understand that Iranians are naturally suspicious of the British because of our colonial past, but surely there are very few who are buying into this utter rubbish?

But, it seems Khamenei will try to push the blame for what it taking place anywhere but on his own head.


Miliband's statement.

Click title for full article.

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