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Ahmadinejad and The Post Mumbai World

By: Meir Javedanfar


Yesterday, in a televised speech in Iran, president Ahmadinejad said that the recent attacks in Mumbai were orchestrated by forces from “outside of the region”.

According to the Iranian president the main motive of the attacks was:

“to strain relations between Indian and Pakistan”.

Behind the scenes, what worries the Iranian president more than anything else is that the attacks could strengthen the position of the US and in a lesser extent, Israel, in the region.

Its bad enough that Barack Obama is popular. With tensions rising between two US allies (India and Pakistan), America’s role as mediator in the region is bound to increase. This is the last thing which Iran wants. And in this case, Tehran does not have many other good options. The only other option is if America’s position in Afghanistan is weakened through attacks by Al Qaeda. However this option is equally bad for Iran, because Tehran does not want an emboldened Al Qaeda either. So for now, president Ahmadinejad has to sit and watch. Unlike Iraq and Lebanon, he does not have too much influence in this part of the world.

The other worrying factor for Tehran is that cooperation between New Delhi and Jerusalem may increase as a consequence of the recent terrorist attacks. The Indian government was caught off guard, under equipped and unprepared for the attacks. In a bid to boost its capabilities, it has asked for help from foreign intelligence agencies, including that of Israel.

According to the Daily Telegraph:

The murder of eight Israeli citizens in the attacks on India has also intensified the already strong bilateral exchanges between the two countries. Indian officials said Israel expertise in striking at its enemies across borders and continents was widely envied.

With Iran trying to lure India for strategic and economic (sale of gas) purposes, such a scenario is completely against Tehran’s interest.

Last but not least, president Ahmadinejad, like any other politician, has domestic matters to deal with. He must be wondering how is it that despite the biggest terrorist attack since September 11 2001, oil prices are going down, instead of up. With elections looming, this must be his biggest concern.

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Posted on : Dec 04 2008
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