Veteran Middle East reporter and my good friend, Chris Dickey, has written a story with other top Newsweek correspondents, that explains the highly confusing signals coming from Iran lately regarding developing nuclear capability. The clear-cut summation is this:
Iran's ultimate goal in this complicated game of chess is to win security guarantees from the United States at a time when American troops are in several countries on Iran's borders.-- Iran’s Rogue Rage, Newsweek 1/23/06 issue
As the article points out, even the Iranian people who are not aligned with the erratic new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the Islamic Mullah leadership, have a nationalistic desire to be masters of their own destiny, which includes having nuclear power. As one young Iranian says,
We are a nation with an ancient civilization and rich culture. I think it's really hypocritical of Mr. Bush to criticize Iran for having nuclear technology while Pakistan, India and Israel have nuclear bombs.-- Iran’s Rogue Rage, Newsweek 1/23/06 issueWell, yeah, except what do you need an A-bomb for unless you plan to use it? All this saber rattling doesn’t help to urge the Bush squad to want to abandon Iraq very soon, either. Although the Bush doctrine, unstated though evident, has always been to gain and keep a physical foothold in the oil-rich Middle East.
It would be better for the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad to make nice with the anti-war crowd in the US, while as time goes by, the movement to bring troops out of Iraq grows, and the apparent danger to Iran softens. And the Bush crowd and their followers slither out of office through impeachment, the ballot box, and the end of their terms.