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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The thing with the mad mullahs is, you never really know if they're serious or not. The other thing is, you never really know if you should laugh or cry. (A decision rather easy with this, undoubtedly one of my favourite news stories of all time.) But these latest ramblings are a bit much:
Iran has issued an extraordinary list of demands to Britain and other European countries, telling them to provide advanced nuclear technology, conventional weapons and a security guarantee against nuclear attack by Israel.
I'm rubbing my eyes. But while we're at it I think a security guarantee against nuclear attack would be a cool idea - for Israel. Just a quick reminder , it's Iran that's threatening to wipe Israel off the map with nukes. That's a threat that Israel has not reciprocated. In fact Israel would have all the right in the world to strike Iran first, and may well do so too.
Teheran's request, said by British officials to have "gone down very badly", sharply raises the stakes in the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, which Britain and America believe is aimed at making an atomic bomb.
Ah, the cool, so very British understatement: "gone down very badly". Really? And there was me thinking what a great idea this really is, a sound basis for constructive diplomacy.
The EU-3 are still debating over how to respond, but British officials said the Iranian letter was "extremely surprising, given the delicate state of process". Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, will have to decide whether to adopt a more confrontational policy.
No surprise I'm afraid, that Iranian position. They're certainly becoming desperate. It's a very logical manoeuvre to change the subject and throw a spanner in the works if you realise you're about to lose in diplomacy. As for that more confrontational strategy, it's well past the time to start thinking about it. But just let me be clear that thinking and acting are not the same. I don't think acting heavily against Iran would currently be a good idea. Perhaps that

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