Three Myths About the Iran Conflict

(Washington Post) Mel Levine, Alex Turkeltaub, and Alex Gorbansky - While Iran holds the world's second-largest reserves of oil and gas and is the fourth-largest oil producer, it is in fact a net importer of refined oil products, including gasoline. Thus, sanctions that prevented Iran from importing gasoline could bring its economy to a grinding halt. Perhaps more important, the subsequent shortages would disproportionately affect President Ahmadinejad's political base, the urban underclass and lower-middle class, as well as the military. Russia has far more to fear from Iran's nuclear program in the long term than does the U.S. or Europe. Iran's support of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism across the Middle East and Central Asia is a direct challenge to Russian interests in territories that are still considered by Moscow to be within its sphere of influence.

2006-02-09 00:00:00

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