Iran & the West: The Showdown Continues Part II

Recently, a close friend of mine sent me an article about Iran and its deteriorating relationship with the West. The following is an excerpt from that article.

Notwithstanding these setbacks, Khamenei remains steadfast. Preserving the ideological order of the Islamic Republic is more important for the supreme leader than crossing the nuclear Rubicon. For a leader who, in the words of John Milton, prefers “to reign in hell than serve in heaven,” surrender is political suicide. In the eyes of this custodian of political Islam, surrounded by a culture of complacency and mendacity, a Pyrrhic victory is divine providence.

Against this backdrop, Washington’s belief in the ability of sanctions to curtail Tehran’s atomic ambitions proves credulous. Iran’s nuclear defiance is ideological and thus cannot be resolved by coercion. Rather than repeating the failed policy of pushing the supreme leader into a corner, the Obama administration should aim for piecemeal solutions that would allow for a face-saving compromise. The goal should be to decelerate Iran’s perilous nuclear activities and put it under rigorous international monitoring until cooler heads prevail in Tehran.

In response, I said the following:

 Very interesting. I think this approach is better than what a Republican approach would be. Still, I fear that sanctions will exacerbate things. I think fear is still being used to convince people that Iran is a threat, the same way the public was convinced that Iraq was a threat. To be honest, I think that if a country threatens U.S. Corporate interests – not government interests; those are very different – it automatically becomes categorized as a “nuclear” threat. This is the only way to garner enough public support to ensure that a foreign endeavor is not met with public outrage.

What are your thoughts?

Is Iran really a direct threat to the U.S., or is Modern Iran simply responding to centuries of imperialism that took the country back to the Middle Ages?

4 thoughts on “Iran & the West: The Showdown Continues Part II

  1. You can mislead some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. This applies to both sides, I reckon.

    1. I agree with your statement fully. I think the media is doing a lot to influence the American public’s perception of Iran at the moment, but I don’t think the U.S. government will act impulsively – at least I hope not. I will say that I am at least a tad bit relieved that it is a democrat in office and not a Republican. If George Bush was still running the country, we’d have already gone to war with Iran, sadly.

  2. Well I think sanctions are an imperfect solution but when compared with the alternatives of a military strike or nothing its the only real choice.

    I don’t view this as being about US business interests per se. I don’t really see American oil companies pushing for entry into Iran. The only way they could enter is after a military operation and I still think its off the table.

    I really do think that this is an issue of regional security comparable to North Korea. As with Iran, they have tense relations with their neighbors. If Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons it will complicate that tension and potentially put the lives of millions at risk. It also gives neighbors the desire to obtain the same weapons as a deterrent. Once everyone has these weapons the region become unstable and the potential for ruinous conflict increases. Both Japan and South Korea pursued nuclear weapons at one point.

    The world would be a better place without these weapons but unfortunately they exist.

    1. Thank you for your response Ari. There are a few questions and statements that I have regarding your response.

      Firstly, why is it that some countries, including Syria, claim that Iran has cooperated with the IAEA? Why have we heard that Iran has indeed allowed cameras into their facilities?

      Second, shouldn’t the U.S. learn from its mistake in Iraq? Ambiguous premises for war usually end up backfiring.

      Third, didn’t the West place economic sanctions against Iraq for decades before the final military confrontation that brought Saddam Hussein down took place? Is Iran going to suffer the same fate? Economic sanctions in Iraq destroyed the country, but it did not get rid of Saddam. In fact, it made him even more dangerous in the region.

      Finally, I believe the U.K. and maybe other European countries are playing a much more decisive role in pressuring Iran than the U.S. is, which conforms with tradition. History shows that it was Britain that convinced the U.S. to conduct the covert CIA mission that ousted Iran’s popularly elected Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1952. This was done simply for oil, but it was embellished with a “containment of communism” guise.

      While it is true that the current conflict between Iran and the West does not deal directly with oil, I still believe economics is playing a huge role. When any country is not under the arm of the West – that is, whenever a nation’s economy is not financed, supported, or somehow monitored by the West, as it is for instance, in Saudi Arabia, it immediately becomes a “threat”. Sounds like OCD to me.

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