Monday, February 7, 2011

Shias have a "tremendous capacity” to absorb punishment. “Self-flagellation comes to them naturally,”

Newspaper Clip of DNA, 7th Feb2011 Edition
“The imposition of sanctions punishes ordinary people, who then turn their anger outward.. We are cautious about adhering to a broad attack on Iran,” India’s national security adviser MK Narayanan told senators Russ Feingold and Bob Casey, according to a cable sent from the New Delhi embassy to the secretary of state in 2008. The issue of the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons programme had been a sore point in diplomatic relations between the two, with considerable speculation in international and domestic circles about whether the Manmohan Singh government had secretly capitulated to the US efforts to bring on economic sanctions against Iran, a traditional Indian ally.
Contrary to fears, however, Narayanan came across as trying hard to disabuse the Americans of their notion that Iran was yet another hot-bed of Islamist terrorism.
According to the cable, Narayanan told the senators that Shia clergy are more “sophisticated and erudite” than their Sunni counterparts and sanctions on Iran will only worsen the US’s case. Pointing to the self-flagellation ritual performed during Muharram, Narayanan said the Iranian psyche had “a tremendous capacity” to absorb punishment. “Self-flagellation comes to them naturally,” he is quoted as saying, while trying to discourage the senators from advocating sanctions.....full story

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