Friday, August 29, 2008

The Dutch beating the Dutch?

When I checked my e-mail and today's headlines this morning, I was surprised to read this article on the website of the Dutch daily De Telegraaf. According to its authors, who claim that their story is based on authoritative sources, the Dutch secret service ( AIVD ) has been working in Iran for quite a while. It supposedly was able to infiltrate and commit sabotage on the country's weapons industry. The operation was stopped because an American attack against Iran is imminent, and some of the intented targets are related to the Dutch espionage operation. Apart from a few questionable and shady websites I did not find this story elsewhere, including other Dutch mainstream media ( to be honest, I did only a random check through Google ). I find it hard to believe it is true, but well, who knows? It raises a lot of questions. Why on earth would the Dutch get themselves involved in such a complicated project? On the other hand, apparently Swiss engineers also have been active in this context. If the Dutch are involved, did they do this on their own initiative, or were they asked by the US ( or Israel )? Would the Dutch really be among the ( first ) countries to be notified about any attack against the ayatollahs? The AIVD has in the past been criticized for its failure to monitor certain terror suspects in the Netherlands, among them the murderer of journalist and filmmaker Theo van Gogh. I did not know they have particular expertise when it comes to Iran, but I would not mind being pleasantly surprised to discover that they do. Let's wait and see. Not surprisingly, the Telegraaf article received a lot of comments, many of them aimed at those warthirsty Americans and Israelis/Jews. One thing is for sure, we will continue to read about Iran and its nuclear ambitions for quite a while. It was one of the subjects that I talked about with a former very senior Israeli security official during an interview last week. To be honest, I hope the Iranian threat will pass and this whole story will fizzle out. But I doubt that that will be the case. Forgive me for being selfish and a bit worried, but for some reason I fear that, G'd forbid, the story might end with a big bang, a bang that will be felt here just as well.

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