It seems the UK is the favoured place for the US to plant their propaganda. The Independent yet again shows just who is their true master. In an article in today's edition (18 July 2008) entitled "Condi's coup: how the neo-cons lost the argument over Iran", former foreign editor of The Independent Leonard Doyle would have us believe that "Condoleezza Rice... is now emerging as the best hope for avoiding a military conflict between the United States and Iran."
The Independent piece appears to be some form of damage control from the American State Dept. to persuade us that the US really does want to resolve the Iran 'problem' using diplomacy - honest guv!
However, there is, obvious to me and presumably to the Iranians as well, another reason for wanting diplomats in Iran. Wasn't it just recently the US foriegn policy establishment were complaining that they didn't have reliable intelligence on Iran? (1)
Wasn't one of the reasons cited for that lack of intelligence the fact that they had no diplomatic 'boots' on the ground? (" “U.S. intelligence on Iran is admittedly weak given there hasn't been a U.S. embassy in Tehran since 1979.")
According to LA Time blog Babylon and Beyond back in June: "A piece Monday in the Washington Post described a debate inside the administration about the wisdom of expanding the U.S. diplomatic footprint in Tehran. One official told the Post: It's not a softening. It does allow us to reach out to youth groups, to talk to dissidents. It's something the regime wouldn't like. Initial Iranian reaction to the idea was frosty. "We do not trust the Americans," Musa Qorbani, a politician close to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told The Times. "After a few days, we may figure out their motivations and what their intention is, then we will give our comment."
William O. Beeman, Professor and Chair of Anthropology and specialist in Middle East Studies at the University of Minnesota in his comment on the same blog piece also states: "former vice-President of Iran Mohammad Hashemi-Rafsanjani (brother of former President Ali Hashemi-Rafsanjani)...expressed the opinion that this expanded interests office would not be for the benefit of the Iranian people."
Further, Beeman states: "There is no question that a significant portion of Iran's leadership will look on an expanded office as a launch-pad for spying and support of dissident groups...Right now the justification has been "we don't know enough about Iran." That is true, but it makes the operation look like an intelligence operation rather than the diplomatic mission that is so desperately needed. " (2)
This ties in with Justin Raimondo's take in "Coercive 'Diplomacy' – Prelude to War": "What we are seeing is a variation on the same prelude, almost note for note, that we heard in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. A surrogate "dissident" group funnels phony intelligence about "weapons of mass destruction" to its masters in Washington, a full-court propaganda campaign is launched, sanctions are imposed, allies are pressured to get on board, and the whole performance takes place complete with a soundtrack of constant threats. Nothing ever changes with this administration, in spite of the best efforts of the moderate "realists," because the War Party is still in the saddle – and because both political parties uphold the principle of American hegemonism. Their differences are merely over strategy and tactics, and over matters of style and tone, but when it comes to the goal – American domination of every region and continent – "politics stops at the water's edge," as the old foreign policy adage goes." (3)
(1) Intelligence on Iran Still Lacking (Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations, December 4, 2007) http://www.cfr.org/publication/12721/
(2) IRAN: U.S. ponders diplomatic upgrade in Tehran (Babylon & Beyond Blog, LA Times, Jun 24 2008) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2008/06/iran-us-ponders.html
(3) Coercive 'Diplomacy' – Prelude to War Justin Raimondo July 18, 2008 http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13156