Revolutionary Iran Cannot Be Appeased

(Wall Street Journal) Josef Joffe - Iran is not a "normal" would-be great power, amenable to a grand bargain where we both cooperate as we compete. Iran seeks to unseat the U.S. in the region, targeting Lebanon and Syria with proxies like Hizbullah, or directly with its expeditionary Guard forces. It reaches for nuclear weapons to cow the U.S., Israel and the rest. In addition, the regime in Tehran subverts its neighbors, seeking to impose Shiite supremacy from Beirut to Baghdad. Revolutionary powers, driven by the consuming faith of being on the right side of history, cannot be appeased. How do you compromise with Allah? President Hassan Rouhani may be reasonable; his boss, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not. For him, the "Great Satan" is indispensable as a cosmic enemy who legitimizes Islamic rule. The writer is a fellow at the Institute of International Studies and the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University.

2015-02-04 00:00:00

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