Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iran implements Obama Doctrine

What might be called the "Obama Doctrine" has emerged from Obama's recent statements on Iran: National sovereignty is sacrosanct and inviolable while human rights are negotiable. Expressing opinions about what is going in other countries and promoting one's own values is meddling. Therefore anyone who expresses opinions on what is going in Iran must be extremely circumscribed in his opinions; otherwise he crosses the line into meddling. This has obvious corollaries for news reporting and embassy staffs, and Iran has obviously taken it to heart. According to the BBC:
[...] Iranian media reported the detention of eight local staff at the UK mission over their alleged role in the unrest.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband dismissed the allegations as baseless.

Relations between the countries are strained since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the UK of stoking post-election protests, which London denies.

Iran has repeatedly accused foreign powers - especially Britain and the US - of meddling after the 12 June election, which officially handed him a decisive victory. [...]
At Iran's Press TV the release of some Embassy staff members is the headline:
Iran says certain members of the British Embassy staff in Tehran have been released after preliminary investigations but others will remain in custody.

"The British Embassy played a crucial role in the recent (post-election) unrest both through its local staff and via media," IRNA quoted Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i as saying on Sunday.

"We have photos and videos of certain local employees of the British Embassy, who collected news about the protests," he added.

"The Embassy sent its local staff to rallies and inculcated ideas into the protestors and the society," said the minister. [...]
Ideas! How meddlesome!

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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