Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Just What Diplomatic Message to Iran?

The number two from the British Tehran embassy yesterday attended the endorsement ceremony of President Ahmadinejad by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This was the disputed election that Iran has also heavily accused Britain of leading the populist opposition against in June.

The FCO seem to think that sending the number two, Patrick Davies the deputy head of mission instead of the Ambassador Simon Glass was enough to show the regime that this was not business as usual, claiming that we need to talk to the regime about its nuclear programme, human rights and other issues. But others think it was too much, Menzies Campbell said:

"The Government has been vociferous on behalf of human rights and individual freedoms in Iran but at a time when a show trial is taking place it surely would have been prudent to preserve coolness and meet only the most perfunctory diplomatic niceties."

And shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

"Under all the circumstances, representation at this event should have been kept at the minimum level possible. Other countries seem to have done that more effectively than the Foreign Office."

Although around the EU however the message was similarly confused. Sweden who currently hold the Presidency of the EU sent their Ambassador, France and Italy, one of Iran's biggest trading partners, like Britain sent their number two, whereas Germany sent one of their lowest ranking diplomats.

However, it was boycotted by Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, the defeated candidates, and by the former presidents Mohammed Khatami and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Also noticeable in their absence was any member of family of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini the leader of the 1979 revolution.

So it is possible to send a message more strongly, while keeping up the pretense of diplomacy? The FCO say they have yet to decide who to send the the swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, but seeing as Iran singled out eight local Embassy staff at the British mission during the protests against the election, which we protested, surely we have some case for not sending high ranking officials.

The current show trial that is going on at the same time as the swearing in process is continuing may not act as a suppressor of protest by as a stimulus for a continuance. The people are speaking and unlike the Star Trek episode where Gul Dukat says that the Cardassian people like to watch pre-determined 'justice' being enacted over and over again, the Iranian people may be smart enough to see that the trials going on are a mask to cover up the real issue of just what did go on between the people voting and the count being declared. Many are saying that is where the real crime took place, the crime is theft, distortion and fraud, not to mention of an undisclosed number who happened to disagree, and a few who were innocent.


Dubbieside said...

Still waiting on your reply to my question re the cost of Jim Wallaces three jobs.

Maybe you think its ok to have three jobs and three salaries if you are a Lib Dem, but not if you are a Scottish Nationalist.

Stephen Glenn said...

I haven't forgotten about your question I have however been rather busy with work the past couple of days as it is a month end. I've also had a number of other meetings to attend I will get around to the detailed response shortly.


Related Posts with Thumbnails