October 02, 2006
Not All Quiet on Iran's Western Front
Iran Focus has a short post up this morning claiming that a network of "separatists:"
...was being supported and strengthened by the intelligence apparatuses of certain neighboring states and a European country which it did not identify.
The insurgent network was spread throughout two cities, including the Iranian capital of Tehran. You won't see this as a featured story by the Associated Press or Reuters, or mention on CNN or CBS News. Commenting upon the Iranian insurgency would be… problematic. It interferes with how the western news media often presents Iranian thought as a near monolith rallying behind President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even as this is far from the case.
I suspect international news organizations purposefully under-report the long-running dissention and insurgency in the Iranian population—and propagate the Iranian government's views internally and as they apply to foreign policy (think CNN in Baghdad)—so that they are not frozen out completely of the news trickle (calling what the Iranian government censors allow a news cycle would be too generous) within the country by Ahmadinejad's government.
The fact remains that there have been several attempts on Ahmadinejad's life within Iran during the past year that have received relatively little media attention. Iran has been fighting its own long-term, low intensity insurgencies, with both Sunni Baluchis and Kurds rebelling against the central Shiite government.
In addition, Iran's government does not represent the views of all Iranian Shiites. Many Shiites believe that Iran has a legitimate right to nuclear power, but they are increasingly worried that the thinly-veiled drive towards nuclear weaponry by Ahmadinejad's apocalyptic Hojjatieh sect is pushing the country towards a conflict that they cannot win.
Iran has blamed Great Britain for supporting the elements of the Iranian insurgency, but has not yet been able to present any solid proof of those claims, as opposed to the solid physical evidence against Iran in providing material support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Palestinian factions in the West Bank and Gaza, and the sectarian Shia violence in Iraq, in the form of captured Iranian weaponry. It would be logical, of course, for Western powers to support the various low-level insurgencies in Iran. Attacks in Iran's oil and gas producing regions can pose a threat to the stability of the central government. Hopefully Iranians can accomplish regime change without need for direct military intervention by Western armies, saving many lives on both sides.
Iran is fighting—and taking hits—from its own insurgencies, and yet mainstream media organizations seem to purposefully limit reporting on them.
One might wonder if their coverage is purposefully Jordanesque.