The Undeclared War with Iran Is Far from Over

[Times-UK] Amir Taheri - The seizure of hostages is based on an ancient tradition first practiced by early Islamic conquerors. The Arab general Saad Abi Waqqas realized that Muslim fighters were awestruck by the Byzantine soldiers. He solved the problem by putting captured Byzantine soldiers on show to demonstrate that the "Infidel" were fragile men, not mythical giants. The mullahs' first aim was to capture some Americans. Last September, they set a trap for a platoon of GIs from the 101st Airborne Division patrolling the Iraqi border with Iran. After an intense shooting match with the Iranian force sent to capture them, the Americans managed to flee to safety. So the British, whose rules of engagement prevent them from fighting Iranians even in self-defense, were chosen as the softer target. The seizure of the British naval personnel is the latest episode in a low-intensity war that the Islamic Republic has waged against the West for almost three decades. In this war, Iran has killed hundreds of Western, especially American and French troops, in suicide attacks in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. More recently, its agents have killed at least 200 American troops and an unknown number of British soldiers in Iraq.

2007-04-06 01:00:00

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