The Iran Puzzle

Let us all be clear about the fact that Iran is determined to develop a nuclear bomb. They have been at it for several decades now and the lessons of history and interim developments, particularly continued threats of U.S. or Israeli military action, have fortified their perception of their need for nuclear weapon capacity. The current U.S. forces build-up in the Gulf must be a source of worry for Tehran. Iran’s nuclear ambitions are not the whim of this or that Iranian leader. It is an enduring national commitment and the wish of the Iranian people. Therefore, it is probably irreversible.

On the other hand, the U.S. and European position has more to do with their views on Iran as such, rather than with its nuclear program. To them Iran, as a regional actor, is not tame or compliant enough. It plays its own game in a strategically critical region and aligns itself with anti-Western and anti-American forces. This makes Iran their opponent and it is why the Western powers, while keeping silent on Israel, Pakistan and India and continuing to deal with North Korea, take a strident attitude regarding Iran.

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