The US and its European allies like to see Iran as an increasingly isolated country; its economy hobbled more and more by economic sanctions and with the pressure growing weekly.
There is no doubt that Iran is to a large extent isolated from key markets and that the sanctions are beginning to act as a significant brake on its economy.
This was already in a bad way due to mismanagement and structural problems.
Iran’s inability, for example, to import Western technology for its oil and gas industry is seriously reducing its ability to exploit this vital natural asset over time.
However, as this week’s gathering of the Developing 8 (D8) in Nigeria shows, there is isolation and there is isolation.
Iran is no North Korea. It maintains strong economic ties with both Russia and China.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is something of a globetrotter, pursuing an active diplomacy in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Balkans.