“I am telling you that a greater and new Middle East will be established, but it will be a Middle East without the presence of America and without the existence of the evil Zionist regime”: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 20 April 2011.
Iran’s chief executive does not waste all that much time on doubt. Recent history may have given him hope.
In the last decade, Iran has sat to one side and watched the United States remove two of Iran’s main enemies – the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
It may be that Iran was the big winner of America’s decision to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.
But now the Arab Spring has happened. Iran’s place in what Mr Ahmadinejad calls the new Middle East is not clear.