Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Activists and relatives held as Iran accuses Britain of backing protesters.

One of the reasons why I think Obama is right to stay quiet on the subject of the recent protests in Iran is that the government of Ahmadinejad is desperate to portray what is taking place there as somehow being influenced by the US, Zionists or the UK.

Indeed, yesterday they indulged in extraordinarily undiplomatic language when they accused Britain of being behind the protests as Iran started to arrest leading activists and their relatives.

The foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, is said to have threatened Britain with "a slap in the mouth" after they summoned the ambassador to Tehran, Simon Gass, to listen to their grievances about supposed British involvement in the protests.

The official narrative of a western-backed opposition was reinforced by the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who described Sunday's events as a "nauseating masquerade" backed by Americans and "Zionists", according to the official news agency, Irna.
Ahmadinejad and Khamenei now both find themselves with their backs to the wall, so it was to be expected that they would seek to make any protests the work of Americans, Brits and Zionists.

Indeed, the situation is worrying enough for Khamenei to have ordered that his jet be prepared in case he needs to flee to Russia in the face of growing protests.
The media organization reports that the Supreme National Security Council ordered a check-up Sunday of the jet on standby to evacuate Khamenei and his family should the need arise.
Neo-con lunatics like Krauthammer continue to insist that Obama should be speaking out more to assist in the collapse of the Iranian regime, but to speak out would actually be throwing a lifeline to the Khamenei regime; as they would seize on this as proof of foreign interference.

Their behaviour is becoming increasingly erratic:

The warning came as opposition websites reported that 1,000 people had been arrested in Tehran alone on Sunday. The regime has stepped up the pressure by targeting its opponents' relatives, most notably the sister of the Nobel laureate and rights campaigner, Shirin Ebadi, and the brother-in-law of the reformist opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Ebadi, who is in London, said her sister, Noushin Ebadi, a lecturer in medical science at Tehran Azad university, was arrested at her home on Monday night. Noushin Ebadi was not a political activist but had been singled out in an attempt to force her Nobel peace prize-winning sibling to abandon her human rights activities, according to a statement from Shirin Ebadi on the reformist website, Rah-e Sabz. The International Committee for Human Rights in Iran condemned the arrest as "a kidnapping consistent with the tactics of criminal gangs".

They are beginning to look fairly desperate, so it would be foolish in the extreme to interfere in any way.

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