On Friday night, BBC radio’s Five Live did a short segment on the on-going issue of Iranian nuclear development, during the course of which presenter Peter Allen interviewed a Dr. Ali Ansari, a research fellow at Chatham House
. The interview begins at just about the 2 hour mark of Friday’s Drive show
. After re-capping the current situation, Ansari made what to me is a very strange assertion. When asked what he thought the West should now be doing about Iran’s nuclear program, he spoke of engaging in a “very vigorous diplomatic effort”, and then said:
When there were opportunities to be taken we missed them. You know, let’s not forget that the war in Afghanistan probably would not have succeeded as it did without Iranian help, and of course the Iranians were rewarded with the “axis of evil”. So I mean these sort of things…people have long memories in Iran and they say, “Well, we offered them opportunities and they didn’t take them.”
I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise to find someone on the BBC portraying a perfectly reasonable Iran as having been snubbed by Bush. But does anyone out there have the slightest idea what kind of “help” Iran provided which ensured the success of the US action in Afghanistan following 9/11?