Friday, February 26, 2010

The puppetmasters

As the Hamas-Dubai revelations get more bizarre, here's something to ponder. There's a fine tradition of hypothesizing the existence of grand Iranian conspiracies for various events. For instance, Iran got the US Republicans to sell them weapons and get rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. It's almost as if they control the Republican party!

Anyway, back to Hamas-Dubai. Matthias K√ľntzel has an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal discussing the activities of the German-Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce, which he argues is acting as a sanctions-busting vehicle for routing German exports to Iran through Dubai.

This raises the more general issue that a key obstacle to sanctions on Iran is the adverse impact that sanctions would have on Dubai, through which much of this trade passes. Thus if new sanctions are imposed on Iran, the United Arab Emirates would come under enormous pressure to shut the Dubai channel down.

Unless, that is, the countries that might be putting such pressure on the UAE would be a little reluctant to do so, in the context of the UAE having a legimate greviance with them about a separate issue. Such as why they are not doing anything about Israel's use of their passports and banking systems to conduct an assassination in Dubai.

In other words, the assassination revelations came at a very awkward time. And after all, the Dubai police chief says that two of the latest batch of named operatives were last seen heading towards ... Iran!

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