Monday, April 2, 2007
By Robert Fisk
"Our Marines are hostages. Two more were shown on Iranian TV. Petrol bombs burst behind the walls of the British embassy in Tehran. But it's definitely not the war on terror. It's the war of humiliation. The humiliation of Britain, the humiliation of Tony Blair, of the British military, of George Bush and the whole Iraqi shooting match. And the master of humiliation - even if Tony Blair doesn't realise it - is Iran, a nation which feels itself forever humiliated by the West......
The Iranians, you see, understand the West. And they understand it much better than we understand - or bother to understand - Iran.
We have forgotten the years of Allied occupation in the Second World War, the deposition of the pro-German Shah and then, humiliation of humiliations, the overthrow of the democratic Prime Minister, Mohamed Mossadeq, engineered by the CIA's Allen Dulles and an eccentric British scholar of Greek, an ex-Special Operations Executive operative - "Monty" Woodhouse by name - with a few guns and a pile of dollars. And the Iranians remember well, how back came the Shah of Iran, our "policeman" in the Gulf, the King of Kings, Light of the Aryans, descendant of Cyrus the Great, to stretch out the young Iranian men and women of the resistance on the toasting racks of their Savak torturers......
But behind all this lie some dark questions - with, I fear, some still unknown but dark answers. The Iranian security services are convinced that the British security services are trying to provoke the Arabs of Iran's Khuzestan province to rise up against the Islamic Republic. Bombs have exploded there, one of them killing a truck-load of Revolutionary Guards, and Tehran blamed MI5. Outrageous, they said. Inexcusable.
The Brits made no comment, even when the Iranians hanged a man accused of the killings from a crane; he had, they said, been working for London.
Are the SAS in south-western Iran, just as the British claim the Iranians are in south-eastern Iraq, harassing the boys in Basra with new-fangled bombs? Will the Americans release the five Iranians issuing visas to Kurds in Arbil whom they locked up a couple of months ago. No, says Bush. Well, we shall see......"