First came the announcement that Iran had successfully launched a space probe carrying two turtles, a hamster and a worm. Then its nuclear scientists announced that they would maintain their defiance of the West by ratcheting up the country’s controversial uranium enrichment programme. Finally this was followed by yesterday’s announcement from the Iranian Defence Ministry that it will shortly begin production of “advanced” unmanned drones that are capable of carrying out “assaults with high precision” against neighbouring states.
Every year since 1979, millions of Iranians have celebrated Dahe-ye Fajr, the 10 days of dawn, by proclaiming their loyalty to the Islamic revolution. The festival marks the period between the triumphant return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolution’s founding father, from exile in Paris on February 1, 1979 and the establishment of the Islamic republic 10 days later. The festivities range from commemorative services held at Khomeini’s mausoleum in Tehran’s southern suburbs to political rallies proclaiming the revolution’s achievements.
But this year the government of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has used the festivities as a platform to issue a succession of headline-grabbing pronouncements. And just to make sure no one misunderstands Mr Ahmadinejad’s intentions, the Iranian president has publicly warned that he will mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution this Thursday by delivering a “telling blow” to … >>>