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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Saturday, May 12, 2007

One more note for the now..
It would seem the government of Iranian President ahmadenejad is deliberately trying to self-destruct in the eyes of the International Diplomatic Community..
Iranian American scholar Haleh Esfandiari, who's in her late 60's and is the respected director of the Middle East Program at the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, traveled to Iran to visit her sick 93-year-old mother last year.
On her way to the airport to return to Washington in December, she was robbed at knifepoint and stripped of her Iranian and American passports.
Since then she has been interrogated for 50 hours, according to her husband. The Intelligence Ministry's purpose in interrogating her is unclear, because the answers to most of its questions are available online at the Wilson Center Web site, according to the center's director, Lee H. Hamilton.
Interrogators have tried to coerce her into false confessions about her activities and the activities of the Wilson Center, which they seem to believe is driving U.S. policy against Iran. Finally, on Tuesday, she was locked up in Tehran's Evin Prison.
Ms. Esfandiari's imprisonment is particularly poignant because she has been advocating dialogue and a restoration of diplomatic relations with Iran.
Some Iranian Americans accuse her of being too "soft" on Tehran. Her arrest only tends to strengthen those who argue that the Ahmadinejad regime is too cruel and irrational to make an attempt at dialogue worthwhile.
Some scholars believe Ms. Esfandiari may be a pawn in the infighting in the Iranian government, too, with Ahmadinejad trying to create "enemies" to strengthen his position.
But Ms. Esfandiari is no enemy of Iran, and her efforts to promote understanding are not causing the world to lose respect for Iran.
Her imprisonment certainly is.
Ahh.. the complexities of Middle Eastern politics and diplomacy.. where the taking of 'hostages' is still seen as a firm bargaining point..
It will soon be time, for both the Ayatollah Khameini and Ahmadenejad to enter the 21st century, and leave such antiquated Levantine tactics behind..

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