Saturday, July 22, 2006

How Iran Has Plotted to Harm Western Interest

Anton La Guardia, The Telegraph:
Iran has repeatedly threatened to "harm western interests" in the Middle East during its nuclear talks with European officials, heightening western suspicions that it had a hand in stoking the crisis in Lebanon. READ MORE

Fearing that Iran was trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civil nuclear programme, the world's major powers last month offered Teheran a package of incentives to halt its uranium enrichment programme.

A senior European source said that the last threat was made on July 11, the eve of Hizbollah's provocative cross-border attack and kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

Ali Larijani, the Iranian envoy, is said to have warned European negotiators during abortive talks in Brussels that "you will suffer" if the Iranian nuclear issue was taken back to the UN Security Council.

Mr Larijani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, then travelled straight to Damascus.

The next day, as fighting broke out in Lebanon, Mr Larijani met representatives of Hizbollah and Hamas, who staged a similar attack near the Gaza Strip three weeks earlier, expressing support for "resistance" against Israel.