When Iran carried out missile tests last week, they were widely condemned as being 'provocative', by the usual suspects. Defence commentator Robert Fox claimed that Iran was playing a 'dangerous' game. In fact, by making it clear that Iran had no intentions to attack anyone, but that if it was attacked, it would retaliate in no uncertain fashion, Tehran was playing a very sensible game, as I argued here.
And what do we get a few days after the tests? A major shift in US policy towards Iran. The US is to attend talks with Iran, and it seems is set to station diplomatsin Tehran for the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Anyone out there who still thinks Iran was playing a 'dangerous game'?
UPDATE: I've been trawling around some of the leading neocon blogs and websites in the US and UK (clothes peg on nose of course) and guess what they've had to say about this major policy shift. Yup, you've guessed it, nothing. A big fat nulla.
What a surprise! I wouldn't like to be a cat, or a dog, in a neocon household tonight.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Iran's sensible game bears fruit
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I think that we are all in danger because of the existence of war parties in the west and Iran, and because there are elements in both who would push to a war.
What I'm glad to see is people trying to send in diplomats and put away the preparation for some sort of 'guns of august' scenario in the Middle East. War is always wrong. Sometimes, it is a lesser evil; but generally it is madness, and if people are embracing families and a future, great!
I do think I also agree in one other respect, but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
Persia is a very, very old civilisation. Modern Iran inherits, like modern China does, a great deal of diplomatic nous and ability. It is swelled by oil, not broken by sanctions, and its policies, unlike those of arab governments in the region tend to be very calculated.
Is there anyone out there who would bet on a confrontation not devloving into some sort of death-dance in which the west came out very badly indeed?
What "major shift"? The Israelis have demanded that the Iranians end enrichment, and the IRanians have said they won't. What exactly is Burns going to say or do to change that?
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