Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where Iran Might Be Headed

At the National Interest, Yousaf Butt makes an important point: In recent history, when countries have suffered economic hardship due to sanctions or other external pressure/factors, they have tended to elect hyper-nationalist leaders in response.  Think Putin in Russia . . . and Adolf Hitler in Germany.

All of which goes to Butt's larger point: it's time for the US et al to make Iran a serious offer, with real compromises (dare we even say, concessions?) on its nuclear program and the current harsh sanctions.  Iran is not going to fold; and Obama would be an idiot to launch a military strike that would only imperil the US's slow-motion economic recovery as well as threaten the global economy with a severe downturn.

It stands to reason, of course, that with sequestration looming and the issues of immigation reform and gun control demanding his attention - and with Bibi soon to pin a medal on his chest - Obama may be content to nudge the Iran can slowly down the road.  But in doing so he may be making it even harder to reach a deal.

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