Sunday, May 27, 2007
On the brink of tomorrow's face-to-face negotiations with Iran, the United States stands accused of -- say it is so -- spying.
Iran summoned the Swiss ambassador Sunday to protest what it called recently uncovered U.S. espionage networks, state television reported, the day before the Islamic republic planned ambassador-level talks with the U.S. on Iraq.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry's head of American affairs met with Ambassador Philippe Welti and demanded "necessary explanation" of spy networks Iran announced it had uncovered Saturday.
The Swiss embassy has been working as the U.S. interest section in Iran ever since Washington broke its diplomatic ties with the country in response to Iranian militant students storming the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.
"Recently, several espionage networks were identified that were active, under guidance of the U.S. intelligence apparatus, to commit infiltration and sabotage in western, central and southwestern areas of the country," the television quoted the Iranian official, Ahmad Sobhani, as saying in the meeting.
God, I hope it's true. We need some leverage over these weasels, something short of an empty implicit threat to blow them to kingdom come and our prayer that a few student protestors roll them out of office.
Of course, it would be bad news if the Iranians had actually busted our "espionage networks." I think they have not. If they had and wanted to rattle us before tomorrow's meeting, the mullahs would have quietly killed our agents and mailed the parts to the CIA station in our embassy in Baghdad. Since instead they called the Swiss ambassador in for a good hectoring in front of reporters, we can reasonably suppose that Tehran was looking to make cheap propaganda points rather than send a real message to the United States. The only "spies" the Iranians have arrested are utterly innocent reporters and academics.
In any case, I certainly hope the Iranians are right that we are subverting them, even if they think they're lying. Yes, they are paranoid, but it doesn't mean we're not out to get them.
So true, TigerHawk. I hope it's true also.
I remember in 79 during the hostage crisis one of the Iranians accusations and justifications for their actions was that our embassy was a "nest of spies".
I used to think "well, yes" Are there any embassies not used as a base for intelligence operations?
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 05/29/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.