February 22, 2012 |
"We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor," said Gen. Martin Dempsey , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on CNN on Sunday. That sounds right to me, but his comment raises a tricky question: How much pressure will it take to get this "rational" country to curb its nuclear program? The answer here isn't comforting: Recent history shows that the Iranian regime will change behavior only if confronted with overwhelming force and the prospect of an unwinnable war. Short of that, the Iranians...
January 12, 2012 |
As the United States and Iran move closer toward open confrontation, it's important that both take quiet steps to avoid the miscalculations and misunderstandings that can lead to an inadvertent military conflict. It's been done before: During the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, President John F. Kennedy used a back channel to communicate U.S. resolve to the Soviets and also explore a formula for settlement. The key points of contact were his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and the Soviet ambassador to...
January 1, 2012 |
Iran is quietly seeking to expand its ties with Latin America in what U.S. officials and regional experts say is an effort to circumvent economic sanctions and gain access to much-needed markets and raw materials. The new diplomatic offensive, which comes amid rising tensions with Washington and European powers, includes a four-nation swing through South and Central America this month by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad . His government has vowed to increase its economic, political and military...
November 1, 2011 |
As Roya Hakakian sat on a panel in Washington last month listening to another Iranian writer speak, she had a small epiphany. The speaker was sounding a familiar theme among many Iranians in the West, who for three decades have felt responsible for showing the world that Iran is about more than just stern ayatollahs, political repression and international terrorism. "It was a completely harmonious panel," Hakakian recalled. "We were all in agreement about everything, and then this...
October 29, 2011 |
TEHRAN — An Iranian police unit that was formed this year to counter alleged Internet crimes is playing a key role in an escalating online conflict between the United States and the Islamic Republic. The "cyber police" force is part of a broad and largely successful government effort to block foreign Web sites and social networks deemed a threat to national security. Iranian officials say they must control which sites Iranians are able to visit, to prevent spying and protect the public from "immoral" material.
October 17, 2011 |
A mere moment or two after the Obama administration announced it had discovered and thwarted a plot by Iran to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States by bombing a Washington restaurant, the doubters started to air their doubts. Columnists and experts, even some columnists who were not experts, said the Iranians would never be so sloppy as to commit a virtual act of war by setting off a bomb in the nation's capital. The alleged plot was crazy, they said. I agree. But so is Iran.