Sunday, March 25, 2007

Poking a Grumpy Lion With a Pointy Stick

The clocks went FORWARD last night – as in ‘Spring Forward’!

May the Force Be With You!

Well, good yeomen, last night somebody tinkered with the clocks. So now we are running on British Summer Time which is a hour ahead of good old GMT. (Note 1) So it is that I – and so many others – will spend the next couple of days wandering around a touch grumpy having lost a precious hours sleep.

Yet it is now truly Spring! You would expect that we would all be bouncing around like the young lambs in the fresh green pastures. But no, we will all spend the next week grumbling about sleep deprivation and making statements like ‘Yesterday I was still in bed at this time’.

Perhaps we should have the same approach as Iran. They are currently celebrating the festival of Norouz. Nourez is a major holiday in the country.

I’ve always had an interest in Iran. It has an amazing history and cultural legacy. Yet here in the West, we tend to view it with a little bit of suspicion. I’ve always tried to take an informed view on the stories, but perhaps it is the changes to the clocks, but even I am beginning to wonder if the Iranian leadership is trying to goad the West into war.

In my rather grumpy mood, I am getting rather fed up with Iran’s take on what constitutes diplomatic endeavours. We have had the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad call for Israel to be wiped off the face of the map and to deny the Holocaust under the Nazis in Europe. We have seen Iran actively support groups that employ terrorism. There have also been suggestions that Iran is supporting the insurgents in Iraq. (Note 2)

We have also had the rather long running dispute over Iran’s Nuclear program, particularly their enriching of Uranium and their refusal to allow Nuclear inspections by the UN. An issue that stems from Iran running an enrichment program in secret in contravention of international treaties and then taking an uncompromising line once found out.

All of which leads us to question whether the international community can trust Iran. Just how far is Iran prepared to go to?

An image we should all burn into our minds – Hiroshima after the A-bomb.

Despite it being a public holiday in Iran, in a piece of miraculous timing, the Iranian Republican Guard had ships at work in Shatt al-Arab waterway. Just as the UN were about to vote on sanctions against Iran because of their Nuclear program, the Iranian Republican Guard seized fifteen British sailors on anti-smuggling operations in Iraqi national waters. (Note 3).

In this grumpy, sleep deprived state of mine, it is beginning to look like the Iranian Government believes that it can just do whatever it likes, whenever it likes without any regard to any other international body or government. That Iran doesn’t negotiate or discuss on issues and is just out to goad the rest of the world.

Without trust and without dialogue and compromise there seems to be limited ways you are able to deal with Iran.

Take care, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you cannot go on poking a grump lion with a pointy stick forever without getting a reaction.

From 14th June 2006, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: My body clock seems more in tune with British Summer Time. I like getting up early and the simple temporal shift of the clocks means that I get up at an hour that people are less likely to view as weird. The thing is, that in the summer months the early morning is a truly wonderful time. There is nothing quite like watching the sun come up on a late spring day – and the moving of the clocks forward means this treat is more accessible to all. One of the great pleasures I remember from working shifts was going outside for a ciggie in mid-summer and watching the sun creep over the horizon. Given that the horizon was actually the local abattoir you would have thought the magic would be lost – but no, it always gave me a real lift even if I was barely half way into my shift. Click to return

NOTE 2: In the interests of balance, I should point out that both the US, UK, China, Russia and others have been known to support the appropriate Left Wing or Right Wing Freedom Fighter / Rebel Group in the past too. Then we have the whole issue over the Iraq War and the invasion of Iraq by the US and the UK – so perhaps we are in a position of weakness when discussing the supporting of terrorists. Click to return

NOTE 3: I’m inclined to believe this because the patrols would be equipped with GPS and this isn’t the first time that Iran has pulled this trick. When they did this in 2004 the GPS systems later proved that they had never strayed out of Iraqi waters – as confirmed by Sir Alan West in this interview. It is also suggested that the Revolutionary guard used to make a good living out of smuggling before the British Naval patrols. Click to return

My cute little mascot just stares open mouthed at events.

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