07 March 2006
Memories of Iran in 1978.
An interesting article by John Simpson appears on the BBC's website. He comments on how the British Embassy in Tehran maintained that the Shah would remain in power right up to the time that he fled into exile. The reason for this was not duplicity: it was that the streets of Tehran were too dangerous for British diplomats to walk in. The embassy had to rely on official statements from Iranian officials who, obviously, were preaching good news right up until the moment when they fled along with the Shah.
Diplomats, generals and officials probably still sit around in Baghdad, still reinforcing each others views, just as they did in Tehran 28 years ago. The difference is that today we don't have to wait for a report to be telexed back to London so that we can read it in tomorrow's daily papers. The news from Iraq arrives pretty much instantly and for almost three years it has confirmed what those of us who opposed the aggression from the beginning said then: this is going to be a disaster for imperialism and for the Iraqi people.