Powered by Nation Media Group, Kenya HomeSpecial ReportsBusiness & FinanceSportsOpinion By JENERALI ULIMWENGU Posted Thursday, July 12 2012 at 11:28 Straight talk rarely gets much straighter than this. Simply put, the American government is telling its Tanzanian equivalent to behave appropriately if it wants to continue receiving American funds. The tone suggests that when bitten by mouths they feed, hands tend to get very sore indeed. The issue is about allegations by Washington to the effect that Zanzibar has helped "reflag" Iranian oil tankers in an attempt to beat sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and the European Union, sanctions that are meant to seriously curtail that country's oil exports. By a May 2012 "executive order," President Barack Obama effectively issued a fatwa, making it a hostile act for anyone or anything to assist Iran in defeating the sanctions. Now, it looks like some 10 or so tankers have recently been renamed, retagged and reflagged in Zanzibar, and that is anathema as far as the Americans are concerned, and they intend to punish it by severing relations. The responses from the Zanzibar government and the Union government do not seem to be co-ordinated, but that should surprise no one as they rarely are. A particularly irate representative from California has even had the cheek to address a letter directly to President Jakaya Kikwete, warning him of the dire consequences that could follow Tanzania's misbehaviour. Tanzanian officials are naturally taking note because they do not seem to believe they can exist without the Americans and their handouts. Of course, the Americans are in bullying mode with Iran, as they have been since the 1950s, when they helped overthrow prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstate the unpopular Shah, and then since the overthrow of that Shah in 1979 to this day. Radioactive argument I for one do not know whether Iran's nuclear programme is for bombs or lamps, but hey, why should the Americans tell Iran what Iran can and cannot do? In a region dominated by the nuclear might of Israel, pampered minion of the United States, who would not want to arm themselves? Honestly, I do not know why countries like Syria, Egypt and other Arab states have not waded into the radioactive argument. The whole world knows that India and Pakistan have acquired capabilities, and even pieces of materiel, and of course we all knew since we were little about the permanent members of the Security Council of the UN. So what is all the brouhaha about? I suppose we can all live with the idea of bullies being bullies, for what else can they be? What hurts is seeing Tanzania allowing itself to be bullied so blatantly, and getting the feeling that our leaders/rulers do not realise how much of our dignity they have helped us all lose.