DEBKAfile - Feb 09, 2010
February 9, 2010, 6:17 PM (GMT+02:00)
In a well-coordinated offensive, pro-government Basijj militiamen in civilian dress hurled rocks and eggs at the Italian and French embassies in Tehran Tuesday, Feb. 9, shouting death to their respective leaders. Some reports say the Dutch embassy was also targeted. debkafile's Iranian sources report the attacks appear to have kicked off the campaign for "stunning" the West - as threatened by spiritual ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or "crushing" the West - in president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's words this week.
Our sources expect the government-instigated violence to escalate up to and including Thursday, Feb. 1, the start of anniversary events marking Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. They are designed to raise international tensions around Iran to fever pitch to deter opposition leaders from staging their planned mass protest demonstrations lest they be accused of treason and collaborating with the Islamic republic's foreign foes.
The Iranian regime has a long score to settle with French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his ministers. They are the most outspoken of any Western critics of Iran, often citing intelligence input to prove Iran is running a military nuclear program and building a nuclear bomb. Sarkozy also warns that Israel will not stand by and let this happen without resorting to a military offensive that will generate a major war drawing Middle Eastern and other nations into the conflict.
Tehran's grievance against The Hague stems from the suspicion that the Dutch BVD national security service maintains the farthest-flung network of agents inside Iran of any other agency and the high quality of its intelligence on happenings inside the Islamic republic.