This article is reproduced from Niu tanqin (ID: bullpiano) with authorization by Niu tanqin
A good play began, and the two countries suddenly turned sides and severed diplomatic relations.
Which two countries?
One is Iran in the Middle East, and the other is Albania in Eastern Europe.
But frankly speaking, when I heard such news, my first reaction, like many friends, was really a little confused. Why?
Because these two countries are not neighbors, they are far apart on the map, so it is impossible to have any territorial disputes; It is not a big country with broad interests, and there are not many conflicts of interests. Iran is still a hegemon in the Middle East, but Albania has a total population of less than 3 million, which is really beyond discussion.
However, international politics is so dramatic. Albania took the initiative to break diplomatic ties this time.
Three observation points.
First, the means are extremely ruthless.
You know, breaking diplomatic ties is the most extreme and worst kind of diplomatic relations. You still have many options ahead, such as expelling diplomats. If you can’t expel one diplomat, then expel a few more diplomats. If you still feel that you can’t relieve your anger, then expel the ambassador. If you can’t, you will be demoted to the charge d’affaires level, and so on.
But unfortunately, Albanian Prime Minister Lama announced: sever diplomatic relations, immediately.
Moreover, the way of severing diplomatic ties is also very insulting. All Iranian diplomats must leave the country within 24 hours, not even 48 hours. It is estimated that Iranian diplomats are also a little confused, and they quickly pack their bags while scolding.
Second, what is the reason?
Albania’s explanation is: Iran hacked.
If I am not mistaken, this is also the first time in the world that the two countries have severed diplomatic relations due to cyber attacks.
Albanian Prime Minister Lama, with an angry face, said this on television: on July 15, the Iranian government directed a cyber attack on Albanian institutions with the aim of “paralyzing public services and stealing data and electronic communications from the government system”.
Rama also said that the Arab side has “indisputable evidence” to prove that the cyber attack was carefully planned and funded by Iran. The hacker organization also launched attacks on Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Cyprus and other countries.
What about the consequences?
The technical consequences seem less serious. According to Rama, Iran’s attack did not achieve its goal, all the damage was minimized, and “there was no irreversible data erasure”.
But the diplomatic consequences are serious. Therefore, Albania became angry: Iran, we cut off all contacts.
Moreover, Lama also said that Albania has informed NATO of all the information it has.
Third, the United States has stated its position.
Anyway, Albania announced that it had severed diplomatic relations with Iran, and the United States immediately expressed its support.
The first paragraph of the US government’s statement is like this:
The United States strongly condemns Iran’s cyber attack on our NATO ally Albania. Like prime minister Rama, we call on Iran to take responsibility for this unprecedented cyber incident. The United States will take further action to hold Iran accountable for acts that threaten the security of US allies and for setting disturbing precedents in cyberspace.
what do you mean?
We support Albania’s position and believe that you Iran did it. How dare you threaten our NATO allies? We’re not finished with you.
But how can we move forward?
The Americans didn’t say that.
Is this the whole truth?
I don’t know either. Anyway, judging from the Iranian government’s statement, Iran is very angry.
Iran’s foreign ministry strongly condemned Albania’s claims as nonsense. Iran is the victim of cyber attacks. It is completely “thoughtless and short-sighted” for Albania to break diplomatic ties.
It’s not enough to scold Albania, but Iran also pointed its finger at the United States and Israel, saying that as soon as Albania announced the severance of diplomatic relations, the United States immediately issued a statement, and the “Zionist media” immediately accepted it. This is actually a plan to discredit Iran’s international reputation.
In a word: This is a conspiracy of the United States and Jews.
Is what Iran said reasonable?
I’m not sure. But part of it is indeed true. For example, the United States and Israel have almost publicly admitted that they launched cyber attacks on Iran’s infrastructure, resulting in large-scale power outages in Iran and even the failure of nuclear facilities to operate normally
Then why did Albania and Iran fight this time?
I have just checked the relevant materials carefully. Although the two countries are separated by thousands of mountains and rivers, they are really a pair of enemies.
At the beginning of the cold war, Albania belonged to the Soviet Union; Iran in the Pahlavi era was the younger brother of the United States. The relationship is not so good.
At the end of the cold war, Albania joined NATO and became an ally of the United States; The Islamic revolution in Iran has become a sworn enemy of the United States. The relationship is even worse.
It was not so good before, nor did it constitute a direct conflict. But what makes Iran very angry is that Albania is now supported by the United States It has become the headquarters of the Iranian people’s Jihad Organization, the Iranian opposition.
The organization, with about 3000 people, is based in Albania and carries out various activities against Iran. According to the Iranian media, cyber attacks are often launched on Iran’s infrastructure.
The relations between the two countries were thus very unhappy. In 2018, Albania expelled many Iranian diplomats, including the Iranian ambassador, on the grounds that Iran planned terrorist attacks.
In January 2020, after the United States suddenly targeted suleymani, angry Iranian leaders, while scolding the United States, also said that “a small and insidious country” was also trying to overthrow the Iranian government.
This “small and insidious” country should mean Albania.
Two years later, the relationship was finally completely deadlocked, and the two countries broke off diplomatic relations.
Finally, what do you think?
Here are three superficial views.
First, diplomacy is so dramatic.
Two countries that can’t beat each other by eight strokes will turn over and break off diplomatic relations in this way. Moreover, as I said earlier, this is the first time in the world that the two countries severed diplomatic relations due to cyber attacks.
Is it dramatic enough?
Indeed, people are shocked by the reason and the consequence.
In international politics, sometimes, common sense or practice do not count.
In my opinion, cyber terrorism must be condemned. There is no excuse for this. However, if a cyber attack breaks off diplomatic relations, it is estimated that many countries in the world will have to break diplomatic relations with the United States.
Second, diplomacy depends on who is behind it.
Behind Albania is the United States and NATO. It’s very simple. Without the support (pressure) of the United States, why would Albania entertain so many Iranian opponents? Moreover, as the poorest country in Europe, can it afford to support so many people?
But why is it Albania instead of other countries?
Iran is probably very angry. Your cyber attack on me is acting on behalf of heaven. What is related to me is cyber terrorism (of course, Iran denies doing it). Is there any reason for this?
In this world, there are many times when there is no divine right.
Alas, there is only a position, and there is no right or wrong. In any case, the United States believes that anything beneficial to Iran is wrong; The United States believes that anything that is unfavorable to Iran is right. America, do you think so?
Third, many past events are even more impressive.
Young people may not feel it too strongly, but old comrades will surely feel it in their hearts like me.
Although Albania has a small population, which is the size of a prefecture level city in China, it was also a small star in the international political arena in those days. It was “a bright light of socialism in Europe” in those days. It was once a little brother of the Soviet Union and an iron friend of China. Now it is a good NATO ally of the United States.
Of course, after experiencing ups and downs, China Arab relations are generally good.
However, between countries, there is really no forever friend, no forever enemy, but always interests.
Speaking of Albania, people who can express infinite feelings are probably old.