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December 6, 2006

Ahmadinejad Flirts With 'Unvieled Private Dancers' While U.S. Flirts With Disaster

Topics: Iran

Let's subtitle this - "Ahmadinejad does the "Private Dancer" thingy, while the U.S. plays Iran's dancing fool."

Our boy Mahmoud, who flaunts his" ideological fervour," and raves and rants about everything being Islamic, as in big-time fundamentalist Islamic, has now been accused of "undermining Iran's Islamic revolution" after television footage appeared to show him watching a display of what was nothing more or less than a "female song and dance show," of unveiled dancing girls. It appears that our boy Mahmoud has wondering lustful eyes and talks and plays a different game when the opportunity presents itself (much like the game Iran has been playing with the international community). Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as is the Iranian regime itself, a liar, a deceiver, and a cheater.

As for our "dancing queen issue", from the Guardian we learn that:

[...] The famously austere Mr Ahmadinejad has been criticised by his own allies after attending the lavish opening ceremony of the Asian games in Qatar, a sporting competition involving 13,000 athletes from 39 countries. The ceremony featured Indian and Egyptian dancers and female vocalists. Many were not wearing veils.

Women are forbidden to sing and dance before a male audience under Iran's Islamic legal code. Officials are expected to excuse themselves from such engagements when abroad but TV pictures showed Mr Ahmadinejad sitting with President Bashar Assad of Syria and Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, during last Friday's ceremony in Doha.

Religious fundamentalists, usually Mr Ahmadinejad's keenest supporters, are asking why he attended a ceremony that violated his own government's strict interpretation of Shia Islam.

[...] The Baztab website, considered close to Mohsen Rezaee, a former revolutionary guard commander with links to powerful sections of Iran's political hierarchy, said Mr Ahmadinejad's presence had offended Shias in Iran and elsewhere. "The failure of Ahmadinejad to object and his constant presence has damaged the image of Iran's Islamic revolution and its commitment to Islamic rules in contrast with the Arab countries in the Gulf," it said.

The president's aides insist he was not present during the singing and dancing. His press secretary, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, claimed Mr Ahmadinejad had left for Doha airport before the performance.

However, Baztab posted footage which purported to show Mr Ahmadinejad in his seat after the show. Jalal Yahyazadeh, a rightwing MP, said: "We have heard from some sources that Ahmadinejad was in the stadium at the time. Those who created the conditions for his presence should be investigated as quickly as possible."

Has Mahmoud sinned in the eyes of the Islamic fundamentalist watchdogs in Iran, and then lied about it?

As Eursoc Two phrases the event:

... You're a religious fundamentalist devoted to ridding your nation of impure and improper conduct. On your watch, women can't dance or sing for male audiences. They can be stopped in the street for wearing costumes your religious police disapprove of. Books, websites and films believed to be likely to corrupt the morals of youth are banned.

So what's to stop you enjoying a spot of fancy dancing girls when you're on a jolly abroad?

... Iran's officials are expected to excuse themselves from such decadent displays of wickedness. However, Ahmadinejad was pictured sitting with president Bashar Assad of Syria and Palestinian PM Ismail Haniya while the show continued.

His people say he was on the way to the airport when the dancing took place, but some in Iran's religious hierarchy - usually strong backers of the president - aren't convinced.

... The spectacle of religious hardliners being led astray by the pleasures of the flesh is not a new one - indeed, some of the 11th September terrorists are reported to have watched a strip show their night before the attacks. However, Ahmadinejad didn't strike any of us as likely to deviate from his mission, even if the show, by western standards, was fairly innocent.

So, is there more to this than meets the eye (sorry, couldn't resist the pun)? In Eursoc Two's piece he brings up something I wrote about yesterday - unrest in Iran which isn't exactly a new phenomenon.

Since I've brought up the topic of regime change in Iran, let's not forget that the Iraq Study Group and the likes of James Baker want us to ask Iran for help in Iraq. This is a naive and dangerous proposal. David Ahmadi at Iran Focus puts Baker's and the ISG's proposal in a perspective I hardily agree with, saying that recognizing it as a partner in seeking peace and security in Iraq is a recipe for disaster:

Such a policy resonates more of the policy of appeasing Hitler than containment in the Cold War era. Those who advocate involving Iran should respond clearly to the following points:
1. Considering that negotiation will only be successful if there is give and take, the U.S. should be very clear in what is prepared to offer Tehran. The Iranian regime has already rejected the package of incentives which includes membership in the World Trade Organization WTO and the lifting of some embargo on Iran etc. Simply but more bluntly put, is the U.S. prepared to accept Iran ruled by the current theocratic regime obtaining a nuclear bomb? It is naïve to say that we negotiate Iraq and not nuclear. When talks starts, all issues will be on the table. It serves no purpose to evade this question. U.S. policy makers have to face the reality that the Iranian mullahs have no interest in nuclear energy. They are not spending this amount of money and resources and taking the country to the brink of confrontation with the international community in order to have nuclear energy. They want the bomb, and given the way they are marching forward with their nuclear projects without any concentrated effort from the international community to stop them, it is only a matter of time before they obtain it.

2. What was the outcome of four years of European negotiation with Iran on the nuclear issue? Short of recognizing Iran's "right" to obtain a nuclear bomb, the EU made every concession. But it failed. Iranian officials have said that negotiations with Europe came in handy as they were rushing to complete the nuclear fuel cycle. Iran has become more emboldened. It has defied the United Nations Security Council, which adopted Resolution 1696 on July 31 demanding that Tehran suspend all its uranium enrichment activities by August 31.

3. On Iraq, the U.S. - and ordinary Iraqis for that matter - wants Iran to stop its meddling. But what does it intend to give in return? Recognizing Iran's dominant role in Iraq? If not, why should Iran listen? They have a huge interest in furthering their influence in Iraq. The Iranians have been very clear: "The U.S. must leave Iraq". This is no rhetoric. Iran has vigorously pursued a policy over the past three and a half years to force the Americans out of Iraq. Aiding banned militias, death squads and other extremist groups is part of the Iranian agenda. Its leaders want a theocratic regime in Iraq, based on their own model and led by their proxies. They have already made considerable advancements in this regard. So, the crux of the matter is whether the U.S. is prepared to hand over Iraq to Iran?

Iran can not be a partner in resolving the Iraqi problem simply because the Iranian regime has no interest in seeing an end to violence in Iraq. Indeed, more violence is the only way to force the Americans out of Iraq. In other words, a secure and stable Iraq is to the detriment of the Iranian regime. It is simply naïve to hope that the mullahs would do something against their own interests. As former U.S. National Security Council staff member Raymond Tanter recently told the television station al-Jazeera, inviting Iran to help stabilizing Iraq is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.

What makes it even more dangerous is the fact that the fundamentalists ruling Iran do not play by the West's rules. They have their own rules. That is why the West's policy of appeasement of the Iranian regime over the past two decades has been a total failure. A combination of short-term economic interests and a lack of will have prevented the West from confronting the primary source of instability in the region, Tehran's theocratic rulers.

U.S. policy has gone wrong in Iraq, not because it did not engage in negotiations with Iran but because it did not stop Iran's meddling In Iraq.

Our boy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of whom we now have evidence via his "private dancing event" that he speaks with two voices when it comes to his ideological rants, has provided additional basis for us to recognize that he and the Iranian regime can't be trusted, as evidenced in the past via the Iranian regime's 20 year history, of lying, cheating, and deceiving the international community.

While Mahmoud flirts with dancing girls, the U.S. continues to flirt with disaster by thinking Iran can be trusted and that Iran will help us in Iraq. The Iranian regime has always looked at Iraq as the grand prize in its drive to expand its dominance across the Middle East. As David Ahmadi points out in his piece, the strategic choice for the United States in its efforts to eradicate the insurgency in Iraq, stabilize Iraqi and, ultimately, pave the way for the withdrawal of its troops, is to align itself with those forces in Iraq which oppose Iran's meddling and its efforts to dominate that country.

Meanwhile, we've learned two things for sure: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is human, and that his ideological values are selectively applied!

Related: Blogs of War has Bloggers' reactions to the ISG report.

Posted by Richard at December 6, 2006 8:22 AM

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