« Home | AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorol... » | Shame on you, Dalhousie University! » | Iran, the SCO, and the NPT » | The Vatican and AIDS: common sense vs infallibilit... » | I knew it! » | Get your Stinking Paws Off Me, You Damn Dirty Ape!... » | Lest we remember » | This Blog Brought to You By... » | A Green Goes Nuclear » | Cultural Relativism...An Example »

Is Iran asking for it, and if so, why?

It really is beginning to look like Iran wants to push the West (and East) as far as it can. It seems to have gotten pretty much what it has wanted til now - time to develop its own enrichment capability; the question now is what else does it want? As some authors have suggested, there is a chance that the Iranian government actually wants an attack from outside in order to rally its people. Announcements like this one today, that Iran is willing and interested in exporting nuclear technology can only be understood in this light.

Because this is exactly the kind of provocation that could unite Europe and the US in a military effort. If any evidence were to appear that Iran had actually approached a non-nuclear nation with overtures on these lines, an attack would surely occur. It might just even be enough for Russia and China to look the other way for a while, if not participate directly.

That the Iranian government would be willing to push like this implies either absolute confidence or desperation. In some ways, they appear to have the west by the cajones. First, they sit on a huge chunk of much-needed oil and natural gas reserves and are in position to make the Gulf of Hormuz impassable. Secondly, the American economy very possibly could not withstand the shock of an Iranian oil bourse based in euros, as they've hinted at. (I've summarized the discussion about the oil bourse here to the best of my meager ability). Some writers have inferred that the US might actually attack should Iran do this; nukes or no nukes. And finally, geopolitically, they are important to China and Russia both for trade and as a foothold of influence in the Middle East.

However, despite their rich oil reserves, the Iranian economy is not doing well and economic indicators for the immediate future are not good. Also, the Iranian electorate is more progressive than many in the Mid East and have in the past voted in reformist governments. (In some ways, if Bushco actually wanted to "spread democracy" in the region, Iran might have been a more fertile location than Iraq.) Should they suspect that an attack from the west was induced by their government, they might be savvy enough to bring it down - it is after all possibly fear of its own people that drives the Iranian government to such desparate measures.

And the overarching question is how do Russia and China react to a proposed attack on Iran? If they throw their hand in with the US and Europe, then they aknowledge in some manner a shared domain over Iran, which might not be in their own best interest.

Links to this post

Create a Link