In a surprisingly straightforward declaration, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister has publicly declared Teheran responsible for Hezbollah’s actions in Lebanon this summer, and described Syria as a “conduit” for Iranian misconduct. Peter Mackay’s statements aligns Canada more closely to their southern neighbor than to their traditional alliances in Europe, where governments have been reluctant to lay blame for Hezbollah on their obvious sponsors:
With a potential international showdown looming next week in Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay says Tehran has “blood on its hands” for backing Hezbollah in its recent war against Israel.
In an interview with CanWest News Service, Mr. MacKay highlighted Iran’s support of Hezbollah and its nuclear ambitions, which will be back in the international spotlight on Tuesday — the symbolic date in the Muslim calendar chosen by the Islamic regime to reply to UN demands to end its suspected nuclear weapons program.
“They [Iran] are certainly behind much of the difficulty that’s going on in the region by funding Hezbollah, by supporting them in terms of their activities against Israel. They have a great deal of responsibility and blood on their hands from their activities,” he said. …
“Of course, we’ve been very much caught up with what’s been happening in the Middle East, but Iran, it’s fair to say, has been described an agent provocateur.”
Mr. MacKay also pointed to Syria as “a conduit for Iran to perpetrate much of this mischief.”
Of course, Mackay gets points just for his willingness to state the obvious, a willingness that seems to escape many in the West these days. It reflects the reality of Iran as perhaps the most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism and Islamic fascism, and it comes at a moment when the world holds its breath over the potential for millenial mischief on August 22nd.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad picked that date for the Iranian response to the incentive package offered by the West for Iran to end its uranium-enrichment program. That date holds special significance in Muslim belief, as most know now; it’s the date that Mohammed rode a winged horse to heaven, after making stops in Jerusalem and Mecca. Some people believe that millenial thinkers such as Ahmadinejad will want to use that date to advance some strategy to create the chaos necessary for the return of the 12th Imam — which would either point to an attack on Israel or some act of defiance so provocative that it will start a devastating war.
So far, that remains an interesting and entertaining hypothesis and not much more. What has remained fact is the overweening deference paid to Ahmadinejad and the mullahcracy by European diplomats. Perhaps they fear that the truth will cause Iran to reject their incentive package out of petulance, a laughable notion considering the calculating nature of the Iranian ruling class. They have eschewed the firmness and resolve needed to face down the Iranians and offered sweet words and ever-increasing incentives: the basic appeasement package.
It’s good to see that Canada no longer holds any illusions about Iran and its intent in the Middle East. We only wish that more Western nations would wake up to the threat that faces us. (via Newsbeat1)
UPDATE: It’s not just the diplomats in Europe who have their lips firmly affixed to Ahmadinejad’s nethers. Try reading this Simon Tisdall piece in The Guardian (UK) without laughing at the lack of objectivity:
As the rotors of the venerable American-made Huey 214 chopper spin slowly to a halt, and the murk clears, a great, human noise replaces the sound of engines. It is not cheering; more like a giant, murmuring sigh, punctuated by shouts of joy and the screams of women.
For Meshkinshahr, a city perched on the desiccated Caspian steppes and mountains west of Ardabil, this dramatic descent to earth has the momentous significance of a prophetic visitation. Local elders say there has been nothing like it in years. Children are out of their heads with excitement.
But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, clambering out of the helicopter cabin with a big smile on his face, is getting used to it. His visit, part of a magisterial three-day, nine-city procession through Ardabil province in north-west Iran, is the 18th such meet-the-people expedition since he took office one year ago this month.
Mr Ahmadinejad’s extraordinary comings and goings are a cross between American-style town meetings, itinerant Islamic evangelism, and pure political theatre. Think Bill and Al’s “excellent adventure” during the 1992 US presidential campaign; think Saladin on a soap box; then add a straggly beard, wrinkly, unexpectedly twinkly eyes, a gentle, open-handed style, and a genuine ability to connect – and you have Mr Ahmadinejad, a local hero (he was formerly governor of Ardabil), a would-be champion of Muslims everywhere, and an unlikely grassroots superstar.
Tisdall later says that Ahmadinejad “may not know much about the Holocaust”, about as close to criticism as this piece gets, but he’s quite obviously wrong. Ahmadinejad has learned how to become an adored Fuehrer, or at least pose as one for Western journalists. It worked seventy years ago, too, and it portended much the same kind of conflict in the end.