Iran's Rulers See U.S. and Europe as Weak and Vulnerable

(Bloomberg) Vali Nasr - The latest warning by Iran, that a U.S. aircraft carrier that recently transited through the Strait of Hormuz should not do so again, is a sign to the West that Tehran is ready for a fight. Tensions between Iran and the U.S. are so high, a conflagration could be tripped off without either country intending it. Furthermore, the more sanctions threaten Iran's internal stability, the more likely the ruling regime will be to pursue nuclear deterrence and to confront the West to win the time Iran needs to reach that goal. Obama administration officials think Iran is weak and isolated. But Iran's rulers have a different outlook. They see the U.S. and Europe are economically weak and extremely vulnerable to high oil prices. China and Russia have broken with the U.S. and Europe over Iran. The U.S. is hastily leaving Iraq and abandoning the war in Afghanistan. U.S. relations with Pakistan are unraveling. Iran's rulers believe the new Middle East is a greater strategic challenge to the U.S. than to Iran. Consequently, the Iranian regime thinks it can counter international pressure on its nuclear activities long enough to get to a point of no return on a weapons program. The writer is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

2012-01-06 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive