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Analysis

* Preventing the Iranian Nuclear Crisis from Escalating  Pierre Goldschmidt

* An Open letter to Mrs Hillary Clinton - signed by 96 sinatories  Ali Behrooz

* Iran's Failed 'Litmus Test'  News Report

* A Sensible Path on Iran  News Report

* A Freshman’s Solution  Ali Behrooz

* Iran – a tough nut for the American election candidates  Korosh Erfani

* Obama shaken, rattled, and rolled  Dick Polman

* The Ayatollahs’ Choice?  Ali Behrooz

* ‘With enemies like this…’  Ali Behrooz

* Mitigating Iranian Mischief  David Ignatius

* Playing at CINC  Michelle Oddis

* The Conceit of Hindsight  Richard Dawkins

* The lesser of two evils  Ali Behrooz

* Gertrude Himmelfarb - Queen bee of American neoconservatives -PROFILE:  Gertrude Himmelfarb

* Analysis: Iran's political flux mirrored in US  News Report

* Lebanon and the Lebanese need a lot more than just a new president  News Report

* Iran seen to need 3-8 yrs to produce bomb  Jon Boyle

* Invasion would be a disaster  Michael Evans

* The Warmongers!  Ali Behrooz

* It Doesn't Get Any Worse Than That, Ray"  William A. Cook

* Chaotic, Disarrayed and Appeasing  Ali Behrooz

* Still a messiah?  Isabel Hilton

* The fallout from an attack on Iran would be devastating  News Report

* Intellectually Progressive  Ali Behrooz

* Islamists, USA and Terrorists – Foes or Friends?  Ali Behrooz

* No Sanctuary for Rashid Ghazi  Ali Behrooz

* 'The driving force of global terror'  News Report

* Getting serious about Syria  News Report

* Mideast lessons from Northern Ireland  News Report

* Defusing the Israeli-Syrian PR war  News Report

* The Democrats After November  Mike Davis

* Mid-Point In The Middle East?  Tariq Ali

* Nato's Islamists  Cihan tuğal

* France’s foreign policy  Bernard Cassen

* Interview: Bank Pressures Hit Iranian Business Harder than Sanctions  Lee Hudson Teslik

* Interview: Gingrich: Bipartisanship, and Possibly His Candidacy, Needed to Right U.S. Foreign Policy  Robert McMaho

* Turks are reconstructing Northern Iraq  Serpil Yilmaz

* Two men on the wrong mission  Robert Fox

* General Sees Iran s Hand in Iraq Fight  Robert Burns

* Bush's Dilemma: Iran vs. Israel  Patrick J. Buchanan

* Iran may be the greatest crisis of modern times  John Pilger

* Intelligence Indications And Warnings Abound On Bush Iran Military Strike  Wayne Madsen

* As peace summit ends, war begins  News Report

* Solution in Sight  Noam Chomsky


Analysis: Iran's political flux mirrored in US
[ News Report]  [2007-10-30 14:50:59]
[Source: Telegraph - 29/10/07]


By David Blair, Diplomatic Correspondent

 

Ever since the overthrow of the Shah almost 30 years ago, America and Iran have exchanged regular public threats. Teheran's defiant response to America's imposition of tough unilateral sanctions comes as no surprise.

  Iran warns of 'decisive strike' if US attacks

  News Review: Inside the real Iran

  US imposes sanctions on Iran

At present, the two countries are firmly set on the path towards confrontation. Iran continues to develop a nuclear programme which, it says, is nothing more than a grand scheme to generate electricity for a rapidly growing population, already exceeding 70 million.

But America is convinced that Teheran's real aim is to acquire a nuclear weapon. In particular, Iran is continuing to enrich uranium, a highly sensitive process which could produce the material essential for making a nuclear bomb.

The United Nations has now passed three Resolutions urging Iran to stop enriching uranium. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decision to ignore this demand triggered the latest round of American sanctions.

But the fact that Washington chose to impose unilateral counter-measures is extremely revealing. The Security Council has passed two Resolutions placing sanctions on Iran. America, Britain and France are pressing for a third - but Russia and especially China are adamantly opposed.

Unable to win Security Council backing for another round of UN sanctions, Washington resorted to taking its own steps. In parallel with this, Britain and France are now pushing for the European Union to restrict trade and investment in Iran.

The central question is whether this economic pressure will have any effect? If it fails to change Iran's behaviour and cause the suspension of uranium enrichment, Western government will arrive at a point where they must choose between, in President Nicolas Sarkozy's phrase, the "bombing of Iran or Iran getting the bomb".

Deep divisions have emerged inside Iran's regime, with Mr Ahmadinejad installing his hardline allies in key positions. Parliamentary elections will take place next March and opponents of Mr Ahmadinejad have a good chance of winning a majority.

In short, Iranian politics is in flux. The result could be the sidelining of Mr Ahmadinejad and the emergence of powerful figures willing to reach an accommodation with the West. Or the president may consolidate his position - an outcome which would make a peaceful resolution of the crisis highly unlikely.

Divisions in Teheran are mirrored by those in Washington. Both Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, and Robert Gates, the defence secretary, are opposed to military strikes on Iran. Vice-President Dick Cheney is believed to be in favour.

By imposing tough sanctions, Miss Rice and Mr Gates are trying to show there is an effective alternative to war.

Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright





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