by user Tqcincinnatus
A lot of ink has been spilled for the last week and a half concerning Iran's piratical kidnapping of 15 British sailors and Marines. Despite the claims by the Iranian state-run media (which are about as truthful and trustworthy as was Der Stürmer), the British team was within Iraqi waters, as the British continue to maintain and have shown through GPS evidence. Now, who to believe...who to believe. The British have made their evidence available to the public. This evidence shows the British vessels to have been 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters. On the other hand, the Iranians claim that GPS devices from the British boats show them to have been in Iranian waters - evidence for which has not been made public, and which we apparently are to take solely at their word, based on the sterling reputation which the Iranians have for truthfulness (sarcasm intended).
What the Iranians have done is commit an act of piracy on the high seas. Anybody but the most blinkered fool can see that. The Iranians have further compounded their crime by forcing the British personnel to write false and coerced confessions, and then paraded these personnel around on TV, contrary to clearly understood Geneva convention stipulations. Clearly, the Iranians are seeking to provoke an attack, which they can then use as a pretext for war. Again, this ought to be readily apparent to any thinking person. Granted, there are a lot of gibbering hoot-monkeys in the West who, because of their terminal cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome, are convinced that this is some sort of conspiracy by Bush to give him a reason to attack Iran. But we'll ignore them since they, frankly, aren't important, and the real value of their contribution to the discussion is nil. Instead, we'll focus on a rational assessment of why it is that Iran has chosen to pursue the course of action which they have.
To begin with, the kidnapping of the British sailors and marines was no accident. According to a group of Iranian dissidents with connexions inside Iran, the kidnapping was premeditated [], and orders for it came down from the top. This occurrence, and the chain of events which are unfolding before us, are no hapstance affair. They were planned, specifically as a means by the Iranian theocratic leaders, to force Britian away from a push for tougher sanctions against Iran in the UN. In other words, Iran has made kidnapping, forced confession, and the violation of international maritime regulations into a form of state policy.
But it goes further than sanctions. The Iranian leadership has suffered from a number of high-profile defections, high-ranking government and military officials who saw their chance to escape from the strait-jacket of theocratic domination, and took it. And the word on the street is that these defectors are singing like canaries to American and European debriefing personnel. Iran has also seen many of the infiltrators which it has inserted into Iraq be either captured or killed within the last couple of months. Coalition and Iraqi tactical doctrine was changed to recognise the fact of large-scale Iranian involvement in the "civil war" and the violence in Iraq, and as part of the recent surge and stepped up security operations in Baghdad and in Anbar, Iranian infiltrators were prime targets for identification and elimination. Iran senses that it is losing its grip on many of the factions causing problems in Iraq, and is getting anxious to draw attention away from what might be revealed by its agents who are being captured and whose safehouses are being raided.
For you see, Iran has long desired to extend its influence over al-Iraq. Since medieval times, the Persians have sought to dominate the predominantly Shi'a areas in Mesopotamia, and to gain the prestige of controlling the seat of the Caliphate - Baghdad. This drive was renewed after the theocrats took power in 1979 and began to put into action their plans for realising their dreams of preparing the world for the return of the 12th Imam. Iranian infiltrations provoked the Hussein regime into attacking Iran in 1980, a war which eventually dragged on for eight years, and failed to bring about the result which Iran had hoped to achieve. Iran now thinks that by stirring up strife in Iraq, that they can both give the Western infidels a black eye, and also exert their influence over Baghdad (as well as the oil field of Iraq). Hence, Iran's goals in Iraq are overtly imperialistic.
Finally, one further reason for the Iranian gambit presently playing out is that the theocratic regime is far less stable than it would like to portray itself to be to the outside world. Reports from inside Iran that manage to circumvent the official state censors indicates that unrest among students and young people is growing, many of whom are quite fed up with the theocracy and its domination of everyday life, both public and private. This is a trend that has gone on for years, and is only getting worse. Further, the regular Army has shown itself increasingly reluctant to allow itself to be used by the theocrats as a bludgeon against the students. Fully 69% of the Iranian population is under 30, and have no memories of the Shah or the Islamic Revolution. All they know is that they want to be free of clerical dominion. Further, ethnic minorities such as Kurds and Arabs have become increasingly bold at opposing the central government in recent years. The theocrats are noticeably unpopular with their own people, and this worries them greatly. What better way to whip up patriotic fervour than to create the fear of invasion by the Brits and Yanks in the minds of the people, especially when you have a state-run press that broadcasts only what Ahmedinejad and the Supreme Council want it to?
In short, the Iranian gambit is a bold move on the part of the mullahs, but will probably ultimately prove to be stupid. They are trying to simultaneously shore up their support among the Iranian people, and extend their influence into al-Iraq. Whether it will work or not will depend upon British and American resolve, and whether Western leadership will stand up to the bullies in Teheran, or whether we'll listen to our own domestic "lose-at-any-cost" crowd, and give the Iranians the power they desire in the Persian Gulf region.
im a jackass. ---- Hey everyone, check out "User 18.104.22.168" vandalising a page which s/he disagrees with! Apparently, this person not only forgot that you can compare revision editions on Wikis, but also doesn't know how to use punctuation! TQC