Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Britain curtails most diplomatic ties with Iran

TEHRAN – Britain withdrew all its diplomatic staff from Iran on Wednesday and ordered the Iranian Embassy in London closed, after supporters of Iran’s ruling clerics ransacked the British Embassy and residential compound.

European Union member countries were scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon to decide whether their embassies would remain open in light of the attack, which was a stark escalation of long-simmering anti-Western sentiment. Norway closed its embassy for the day on Wednesday.

“The PM and Foreign Secretary have made clear that ensuring the safety of our staff and their families is our immediate priority,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement. “In light of yesterday’s events, and to ensure their ongoing safety, some staff are leaving Tehran.”

William Hague, Britain’s foreign minister, said Britain had withdrawn its entire embassy staff from Tehran and had given the Iranian ambassador in London and his embassy staff 48 hours to leave the country.
Read the rest here.

This strikes me as a measured and appropriate response to Iran's outrageous behavior.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

Britain with its long history of imperial over-reach, diplomatic blundering and overseas spying and meddling should expect some blowback from the unjustified and counter-productive sanctions on the Iranian people. Their filthy fingerprints are all over the Near East and we have been cleaning up the elephant **** from their colonial circus for over 60 years. If their embassy in Iran closes, that just means less spies and agent provocateurs trying to set off World War III.

Britain, like Israel, is a dangerous and unpredictable ally.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

You sound like you have been reading a bit too much of Lindon Larush's material. That or you really need to switch to de-caf. In any event I don't care how nasty you think a nation has been there are certain inviolable rules kept by all civilized states. And the sanctity of embassies is one of them. If Iran doesn't like the Brits or they think they are abusing their diplomatic status then they could have ordered them out. But sending their goons in to sack a foreign embassy is a no no.

Iran is an authoritarian police state run by Islamic Fundi nut job who believes he has a God given mission to eradicate Israel and execute religious minorities along with homosexuals and anyone else that doesn't fit his world view. And he is aggressively seeking nuclear weapons while supporting terrorist organizations. Your willingness to overlook these inconvenient facts in your rather one sided rant against Britain suggests some serious ideological blinders.

Jason said...

Is our nation not acting like we have a God-given mission to eradicate Israel's so-called enemies and anyone else who does not fit into our worldview? Why the double standard - 'tis ok for me but not for thee'? Is it not their right as a nation to seek their own nuclear power?

What right does any nuclear-powered and armed nation such as the US and Israel have to declare that Iran has no such rights? Do you actually believe that Iran would initiate an unprovoked nuclear assault on Israel? Israel has what is estimated to be the 5th largest nuclear arsenal in the world - wholly subsidized by the US and illegal according to international law - but, with it they would blow Iran to smithereens. Not to mention the nuclear blowback that would occur to their own Middle Eastern Allies and Shia brethren.

Are there not Orthodox Christians in Iran? Are they treated any better there than in Israel? Syria's Assad actually protects the Orthodox community in his own country but we are actively attempting to overthrow him to the detriment of the centuries old Christian communities there. To what end?

The drumbeat for war with Iran is pure madness. Of course, should it happen it will be fought on the US's golden Chinese Mastercard - giving away more of our country's future if we even have any left.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

First off I am no apologist for Israel, though I do affirm their right to exist. In matters of foreign affairs they tend to be their own worst enemy. Even a cursory glance at this blog's archives will find no shortage of highly critical commentary on Israel's policies towards its neighbors and religious minorities within their country.

That said, there is no rational comparison between Israel and Iran. Yes, their nuclear arsenal is a violation of international law, and yes we should stop supporting them with arms. But no, I am not aware of anyone in public office calling for the extermination of Israel's neighbors. Nor do I for one second believe Israel would either use directly or hand over to a terrorist client nuclear weapons to be used against their enemies in some sort of attack on them. You ask if I think Iran would use nukes in Israel. To be honest, given the temperament of their leader (whose sanity I question) I can't dismiss that possibility.

Israel may be beating the drumbeat for war with Iran. I don't know of anyone else doing so. Were I an Israeli I might reluctantly consider the necessity of some sort of preemptive action to prevent Iran from getting nukes. History offers some stark warnings that when someone announces repeatedly their intention to exterminate you, it is unwise to ignore them. Or in more simple terms if someone who told you he is going to kill you is loading a gun in your presence, common sense would suggest you are not obligated to wait until he is finished and shooting before taking measures to neutralize the threat.

That however is Israel's business. Not ours. They are more than capable of taking care of themselves.

As for comparison of treatment of religious minorities, Israel may treat theirs like 2nd class citizens, but they don't hang them. Iran does. If there are any Orthodox Christians in Iran I am not aware of it.

Syria is a separate issue. My position on that subject is we should mind our own damned business.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

The US/NATO do not realize the more ancient conflict they are getting dragged into. The Sunni monarchs of the Gulf Arab states are teaming up with the neo-Ottoman Turks (also Sunnis) to roll back Shia Iran, which is allied with fellow Shia/Alawite, Syria's Assad. What will the Shia militias in Iraq do? What will happen in the Lebanese powder keg? How long will the Palestinians stay quiet in their concentration camps after Israel loses the demographic war (that's the context you're omitting with the Iran 'quotes')?

The West is stomping around in that area about to start WWIII. The British, French and other embassies in the region are full of NATO spooks, not to mention the two American armies on either side of Iran. This is why I'm not particularly impressed by the embassies' purported sacrosanct status.

Britain is the failing nation-state that bears a good deal of responsibility for the Middle Eastern mess, and will gladly pull us into their martial follies.

Jason said...

Ahmadinejad has not once said he'd "exterminate Israel" but rather has directed his quotes at the "occupying regime" that is actively seeking to wipe Palestinians from the face of the earth. Current Israeli political and spiritual leaders call Palestinians "Amalek," a biblically defeated enemy but one which is kept alive by rabbinical fantasy. Iran bombing Israel just on a whim would mean severe consequences for their allies in Lebanon, Syria and every Palestinian that they are seeking to liberate from the current apartheid regime.

There is most certainly a drumbeat for war with Iran. A few weeks ago, Charlie Rose hosted Mohammad-Javad Larijani on his show. Larijani is a top advisor to Iran's supreme leader. I recommend watching this interview. Rose, a supposed liberal who is usually very stiff and unaffected, got rather heated and put great pressure on Larijani regarding Iranian nuclear weapons.

Rose's interview, the continued mischaracterization of what Ahmadinejad stated, and additional media productions on Iran's arsenal, are part of an intense propaganda campaign in this country, similar to what occurred in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, to frame Iran as evil and Ahmadinejad as a madman. Have you ever taken the time to watch one of his speeches online - away from Western media filters?

Meanwhile, it's the West that is enforcing crippling sanctions, assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists and their wives, assassinating Iranian politicians, and initiating cyberwars. If that's not a drumbeat for war, I don't know what is. Sanctions themselves are an act of war, nevermind multiple assassinations of state leaders.

And apparently Israel can't take care of themselves. Or rather, they don't want to. We, as their prize golem, do whatever they want whenever they want it. Not to mention the fact that it is our tax dollars that arm them to the teeth! For free!