Iran’s dangerous path of isolation

Anne Penketh

Iran’s ransacking of the British embassy in Tehran, which prompted the recall of all British embassy staff and the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from London, means that the chances of miscalculation by both sides in this spiraling crisis have suddenly intensified.

Iran has deliberately set itself on a path of isolation, even though Britain, long considered the “little Satan” in Iran alongside the American “Great Satan” says that it is not severing diplomatic ties. But cutting channels of communication with Tehran, where radicals were already in the ascendant, contains other dangers at a time when Iran’s nuclear program is back in the diplomatic foreground.

Admiral Mike Mullen, in remarks before he left his post as chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that the lack of direct communication between the US and Iran since 1979 mean that “many seeds for miscalculation” had been planted. “When you miscalculate, you can escalate and misunderstand.” He was obviously talking about the potential for armed conflict.

Those lines have now been cut between London and Tehran too. One immediate effect will be that we can say goodbye to a new round of talks between the so-called “5 + 1” process, involving the permanent UN Security Council members – US, UK, France, Russia and China – plus Germany on curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

But it’s also likely that the covert war under way between Western powers and Iran will escalate.

Britain should have been expecting a tough reaction from Iran after targeting the Iranian central bank for sanctions, which Tehran had said it would consider as an act of war. Despite calls from Congress to do the same, the Obama administration – wisely – held back from such a measure.

The latest sanctions were introduced in the wake of a report by the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which blew apart the international coalition which had earlier targeted Iran with UN sanctions. Russia in particular accused the IAEA director-general of publishing a “biased” report which pointed to evidence of weaponisation activities by Iran prior to 2004 but failed to produce a smoking gun.

The IAEA report was a deliberate escalation in the crisis with Iran, and enabled Israel to renew its threats of military strikes. Now the Iranians have hit back. With elections looming in both Iran and the US it will take cool heads to walk us back from this escalating crisis.

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  • Guest

    Jesus rejected Judaism and brought God to the masses. So he was not a Jew, although i agree he was born into the religion.
    Read a bible – turn over the money lenders tables, etc etc etc – Jesus was the first ‘anti-semite’ and taught us to reject their religion, greed and corruption.
    and if you are truly British read Winston Churchill’s thoughts on Judaism, he says it like it is, no apologies  

  • ricardo lion

      Can’t blame you.  I know that is what they teach at church.  Go read the so called New Testament.
      Jesus never rejected Judaism.  Matthew (a Jew, one of Jesus followers, all Jews) 5:17 ““Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  Said rabbi (master) Jesus.  The Law here is the only in theocratic Israel of that time, the Torah / Bible.

      Jesus never took the Jewish God to the masses, St. Paul, who didn’t know him, did it, going against Jesus will.
      Matt. 10:5 “Go not into the way
    of the Gentiles”

    Matt. 15:24 “I am not sent but
    unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”

    John 4:22 “Salvation is of the

      Yes, he turned over the money CHANGERS tables.  How many money changers do you have in London?  Thousands?  The Temple needed them, because Jews from other countries came to worship there.  Go to the Vatican and check the supermarket they have there, to sell religious items.  

      If I am truly British?  Thank you very much, I didn’t know my English was that good.  I am not British.  Churchill’s thoughts on Judaism?  Don’t know, not interested.  More interested in Jesus thoughts on Judaism.  Ask the Africans what they think of your Churchill and what they think of Jesus.

  • Michaelinlondon1234

    Perhaps we should reduce all embassies. It would be interesting to know how much money will be saved with this embassy closing. 

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