Western countries lead by France, the US and Britain are considering sanctions and possible military action against IKEA after the international furniture company admitted spying against the US and France.
Tensions have been increasing between the west and the retailing conglomerate since it was revealed the Swedish home products company was openly importing pre-packaged parts which could be used for self-assembly appliances. The home accessory chain claims the parts are being used only for domestic products, such as beds and cupboards, but the west has long suspected they are being used to threaten western interests, such as Home Depot in Europe and Rooms To Go in the US.
IKEA claims its household range program is for peaceful purposes, but western powers regard the latest revelations of spying activities as evidence of an aggressive expansionist plan by the furniture giant to export its extremist brand of light-coloured, bland wooden furniture to the rest of the world.
The company has threatened its neighbours with massive retaliation of flat-pack pine products should it be forced to respond to any restrictions placed on its activities by sanctions or other methods that may damage its vital interests.
Jerusalem Post defense analyst Yaakov Katz says time for a diplomatic solution is running out.
“The window is definitely closing,” he said.
Katz says the west has the firepower to back up the threat.
“The US has created over the years a viable military option for surgical strikes against key IKEA installations, including its stores on high streets and its out-of-town depots, if it decides to take unilateral action to stop IKEA’s self-assembly pine furniture manufacturing program.”
Many analysts question how effective a western attack would be, considering how popular bland pine furniture is across the world and the fact that IKEA is easily the most popular home furnishing store in the west. Many of its retail facilities and storage depots are vast, with labyrinthine networks of similar looking shelving and row after row of repetitive products. Any attack would also be made more difficult by the fact that its numerous retail facilities are spread out and fortified by vast metal sidings of bright yellow and blue with few windows.
Despite the rhetoric from the west, differences have begun to emerge recently between the western allies with the French president Nicolas Sarkozy accusing the US in particular of irresponsibly encouraging an uncontrolled proliferation of dangerous toxic chemicals in its fast food outlets across the world.
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