So what's with the Iranians' repeated statements that they will answer our demand by August 22nd?
Ministers from the six powers tackling the Iranian nuclear issue decided earlier this month to send the Iran nuclear dossier back to the Security Council after Tehran failed to respond to a package of Western security and economic incentives in exchange for a suspension of its enrichment activities.
Iran reiterated Monday it will not halt uranium enrichment.
"We are ready to discuss anything in negotiations ... (but) we will not accept any preconditions," Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters.
And top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has said Iran will respond to the nuclear offer by August 22.
What is so important about August 22nd? If there is anything. And what do they mean by "answer" our offer by that day? Haven't they told us they won't stop enrichment? When Iranians say "answer" are they talking about an action that provides a definitive answer? Because if repeated statements that they won't suspend aren't their answer, what do the Iranians have in mind?
A nuclear test?
A nuclear strike?
Is this related to why Iranians were observing the North Korean missile tests? Is this why Iran has apparently prompted a crisis now with Israel via Hizbollah to provide some sort of justification for their answer next month?
I just have a bad feeling about this. I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue.
UPDATE: I Googled a bit. From a calendar of Muslim festivals, August 22 is Lailat al Miraj, which means:
This is the day on which Muslims commemorate Prophet Muhammad's night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, his ascent to heaven and the revelation of the salat.
Muslims commemorate it by telling the story of how two archangels visited the profit while he was sleeping and purified his heart and filled him with knowledge. The prophet then travelled from Jerusalem to Mecca on the back of a winged creature called a buraq. The finally he ascended to heaven where he met the previous prophets and God learned about the Muslim duty to recite salat five times a day.
The Wikipedia entry is here and a link from there confirms August 22 for this year.
Really, just how insane is Ahmadinejad? Does he think he can destroy Israel and overthrow the Saudi control of Mecca and Medina, thus allowing him to repeat the journey to Jerusalem and Meccah?
Or, even if a significant date in his mind, does Ahmadinejad simply think that if he sits passively the great events will just happen? Is fighting in Lebanon enough mischief for his higher goals?
So is this a nuclear holiday? Or just a Sadr offensive in Iraq?
I don't put any stock in numerology but our jihadi enemies seem to. Is something up? Or did I pick a bad week to quit smoking?