Monday, January 23, 2006

FRIENDS AND FOES, SHIELDS AND WEAPONS

Despite eight years of war, it was refreshing to see the mutual admiration and support shown between two of Iran and Iraq's best blogs, Iraq the Model and RegimeChangeIran in the run-up to the 2005 Weblog Awards.

From the former:
"Honestly, if your blog wins the title I will be just as glad as if it were my blog."
A somewhat more sinister affection was revealed yesterday when Muqtada al-Sadr opened his mouth on the subject of Iran. From Yahoo!News:
The Iraqi cleric who once led two uprisings against U.S. forces said Sunday that his militia would help to defend Iran if it is attacked, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Muqtada al-Sadr, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with the top Iranian nuclear negotiator, said his Mahdi Army was formed to defend Islam.

"If neighboring Islamic countries, including Iran, become the target of attacks, we will support them," al-Sadr was quoted as saying. "The Mahdi Army is beyond the Iraqi army. It was established to defend Islam."
Right now I'll bet there's a lot of Iranians saying: "Thanks, but no thanks." As if they don't have enough religious crackpots of their own to deal with...

Speaking of which, Spirit of Man has written an interesting post about schoolchildren being used as human shields in Iran.
During school, we had the opportunity to go to museums or parks with the classmates under the watch of teachers which wasn't bad at all but seems these outtings have been radically changed. Thank heaven I am not in School any more.

This is the new type of scientific tour with the class, of course with a few major changes and well, what they do in these new sort of tours these days, is using the kids as protective shields to prevent an attack on their dangerous nuke facilities.
I hope this is wrong (and my Farsi isn't up to scratch to decipher the text on the linked pages), but I can't help feeling cynical about the current regime in Teheran and the steps it will take to defend itself.

Incidentally, if you really want to cheer yourself up, here's a Flash-based graphic of the development of Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Naranz over the past four years, courtesy of GraphicLens.

Happy days.

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