Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rabbit Iran

Another view of the threat from Iran.

Middle East expert Kenneth Katzman argued "Iran's ascendancy is not only manageable but reversible" if one understands the Islamic republic's many vulnerabilities.

Tehran's leaders have convinced many experts Iran is a great nation verging on "superpower" status, but the country is "very weak ... (and) meets almost no known criteria to be considered a great nation," said Katzman of the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service.

The economy is mismanaged and "quite primitive," exporting almost nothing except oil, he said.
Also, Iran's oil production capacity is fast declining and in terms of conventional military power, "Iran is a virtual non-entity," Katzman added.

The administration, therefore, should not go out of its way to accommodate Iran because the country is in no position to hurt the United States, and at some point "it might be useful to call that bluff," he said.

But Katzman cautioned against early confrontation with Iran and said if there is a "grand bargain" that meets both countries' interests, that should be pursued.

This view of the nation Iran may well be accurate, but you would have put Afghanistan even further down the threat rankings on September 10th, 2001. The damage a nation can do is not to be measured just by its economy and military. If it has the will to harm you and the means are to hand, then it will do so. Iran is already doing so in Iraq, has done so in Lebanon, and will seek to do so in the Palestinian territories. Failing to see any grand bargain in the offing, I would go for the bluff-calling in the near future.

(via Hot Air)

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