A Firebrand in a House of Cards

(New York Times) Dariush Zahedi and Omid Memarian - Ahmadinejad appears to be acting on the perception that the U.S. is in a position of considerable weakness. Ahmadinejad no doubt takes comfort in the knowledge that Shiite religious parties aligned with Iran are now the dominant political forces in Iraq, while the American public hardly seems amenable to waging another war in the region. Moreover, Ahmadinejad very likely believes that the best way to guard against regime change from without is to emulate North Korea by swiftly advancing Iran's nuclear capacity. He also surely knows that even if Iran's nuclear dossier is referred to the UN Security Council, meaningful multilateral sanctions will most likely be vetoed by Russia or China. Flush with petrodollars, Iran has become a major purchaser of Russian technology, including roughly $1 billion worth of allegedly defensive weapons. Meanwhile, China has emerged as one of Iran's largest trading partners.

2006-01-09 00:00:00

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