From Iran with love
The Times today confirms what Harry’s Place reported last Saturday about the purge—an “unprecedented” one indeed—of senior Iranian ambassadors “who are regarded as too liberal” by the President of Islamic Republic of Iran.
At least 20 heads of mission and other top diplomats have been sacked or reassigned in the biggest shake-up since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The majority were appointed during the decade of rapprochement with the West that Mr Ahmadinejad has abruptly reversed.
Four of the envoys, the ambassadors to London, Paris, Berlin and the representative to the United Nations in Geneva, were involved in months of delicate mediation between Iran and Europe over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
(Hat tip: Marcus)
More on Mr Ahmadinejad. This is what British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in the press conference addressed at Hampton Court (London) on October 27, during a meeting with the leaders of the European Union countries (answeing a question about Ahmadinejad’s declaration that "Israel must be wiped off the map"):
I have got to say I am sure there are people in Iran in their leadership who believe that the world is sufficiently distracted with everything else, that we can’t really afford the time to focus on this issue. And I think they would be making a very big mistake if they do that. These sentiments are completely and totally unacceptable. I have never come across a situation of the President of a country saying they want to wipe out, not that they have got a problem with, or an issue with, but want to wipe out another country. This is unacceptable.
And their attitude towards Israel, their attitude towards terrorism, their attitude on the nuclear weapons issue, it isn’t acceptable. Now if they continue down this path then people are going to believe that they are a real threat to our world security and stability. And as I say, they may believe that with everything else, the eyes of the world will be elsewhere, but I felt a real sense of revulsion at those remarks, and to anybody in Europe, knowing our history, when we hear statements like that made about Israel, it makes us feel very angry. It is just completely wrong, this, and it indicates and underlines I am afraid how much some of those places need reform themselves. Because how are we going to build a more secure world with that type of attitude? It is a disgrace I am afraid. And I am aware, I haven’t said in precise terms what we can do, but this is a discussion that we will be having with our allies.
And you know there has been a long time in which I have been answering questions on Iran, with everyone saying to me: "Tell us you are not going to do anything about Iran." If they carry on like this, the question people are going to be asking us is: When are you going to do something about this? Because you imagine a state like that, with an attitude like that, having a nuclear weapon?