Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Tehran Two Step

From the Washington Post article, Assertive Iran Sends Uncle Sam a Message:

Iran's release of eight British sailors detained after their patrol boats strayed into Iranian territorial waters is just another chapter in a power struggle between the Islamic Republic and Western powers, according to online observers in both countries.


The Tehran Times portrayed the detention of British troops as an act of self-defense.

The generally conservative Web site in the Iranian capital justified the action by quoting a British parliamentarian, Menzies Campbell.

"One has to remember that they are pretty nervous in Tehran at the moment," Campbell was quoted as saying. "There are large numbers of American forces on their doorstep."

Well, so much for stabilizing the region, but at least things are cooling down in Iraq.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - About 100 people were killed and several hundred wounded in Iraq Thursday when insurgents launched bloody assaults in five cities to disrupt next week's formal handover to Iraqi rule.

Three U.S. soldiers were among those killed in bold assaults on Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and the mainly Sunni Muslim cities of Baquba, Falluja and Ramadi.

Iraq's third-largest city Mosul was the worst hit, with suicide bombings killing 62 people and wounding 220, said a senior coalition military official.

He said the attacks showed signs of loose coordination between various groups intent on destabilizing Iraq and warned of more bloodshed before and after the June 30 handover of power to Iraqis by the U.S.-led administration.

"We would expect to see more activity like this as we get closer and closer to June 30, we don't think this was a one-off, we don't think this was an exception, we think we're going to see more of this," the official reporters.

"There's no reason to expect it will stop after June 30."

I wonder if Richard Perle is still celebrating?