Thursday, February 16, 2012

Leading article: Iran risks playing into the hands of its enemies

The way Tehran is upping the ante suggests a belief that it has nothing left to lose

The Independent
Thursday 16 February 2012

".....In December, Tehran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a threat that prompted the US to send naval patrols and which anyway seemed unrealistic, given that Iran would be among the first to suffer. Then this week, Iran appeared to adopt a new two-pronged approach, with an announcement that it was halting oil exports to six EU countries and a spate of attacks on Israeli envoys in third countries. The arrest of an Iranian citizen in Thailand, who was seriously injured after apparently blowing himself up by accident, seemed to leave little doubt about where responsibility lay.

The way Tehran now appears to be upping the ante suggests either that the Iranian leadership is gripped by something close to panic, or that it is lashing out in the belief that it has nothing left to lose. Either prospect can only give succour to those who argue that force is the only language Tehran understands. Before pursuing their present course further, Iran's leaders should understand that they risk provoking the very response they, and most of the rest of the world, are desperate to avoid."

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