Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Juan Cole detects irony

You probably know that Iran has launched its "Omid satellite." The Iranian press keeps calling it "home made," which I don't imagine means that it was made in somebody's home, but that it did not use any foreign technology. (Not even North Korean?) This event elicits the following analysis from Juan Cole, the Informed Commentator:
US, German and other Western officials expressed anxiety that the same technology used in the launches could also be used to develop an Iranian ballistic missile.

Iran insists that it is developing the delivery technology for peaceful civilian purposes.

It is striking that Western anxieties about Iran often depict the regime as "medieval," but what they are really afraid of appears on the contrary to be Iranian modernity.
"Western anxieties" involve, precisely, concern over the combination of medieval sensibilities with modern weapons technology. Juan's point involves seeing Iranian advances in aeronautics simply as "modernity." Isn't it "striking" that Iran itself also insists that its space program, nuclear program, etc., are merely modernity?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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