Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What The Storming of the British Embassy In Iran Tells Us About The Successor To Ahmadinejad (Updated)

According to Fox News, the storming of the British embassy in Iran may not have been spontaneous:
Hardline Iranian students stormed the British embassy in Tehran this morning, smashing windows and burning the British flag. The students, protesting the latest British sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic as a result of its nuclear defiance, demanded Tehran break relations with London. Rather than protect the embassy, Iranian security forces charged with its protecting simply stood aside suggesting official endorsement of the act.

...According to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency, the radical students carried placards with photographs not only of Majid Shahriari, an assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist, but also Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Qods Force.
If this reminds you of the storming of the American embassy in Iran in November 2009, perhaps there is good reason. There are indications that Iranian president Ahmadinejad was involved in the takeover of the American embassy and the hostage crisis that ensued.

Though the Iranian attack on the British embassy ended better, one of the men who apparently inspired the attack bears watching:
Suleimani is one of the Islamic Republic’s darkest figures responsible, according to American diplomatic cables, for running terror networks across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. He is perhaps responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and dozens of British troops. As the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps consolidates power inside Iran, Suleimani maintains an increasing chance to become president himself, as Iran’s hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad finishes his second and last term.
If you liked Ahmadinejad, you'll love Suleimani!

UPDATE: Melanie Phillips writes that some members of the British embassy may have been held hostage:
The British embassy in Tehran has been attacked. A mob threw petrol bombs, burned the Union flag and at least one vehicle and smashed a portrait of the Queen. Earlier reports said that at the compound where the diplomats live, six were held hostage for several hours – although that was downplayed by the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague.

...Yet on Sunday, the Iranian parliament overwhelmingly called for the expulsion of the British ambassador. And in that very debate an Iranian MP actually called for the British embassy to be stormed and diplomats taken hostage.
Just one more parallel.

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