Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Seem to Have Spoken Too Soon on Bush's Iran Policy

With the report that Iran had dismantled its nuclear weapons program in 2003, I figured Bush's thus-far successful Iran diplomacy would make a paradigm shift, hedging for future success. But it seems Bush is intent on reversing any progress recently made.

He's claimed that his Iran policy will stay the same, making myself (and hopefully others) grow skeptical. Bush's claim that Iran is dangerous is certainly true, but without an active nuclear weapons program, the only thing I can seem to directly fault Iran for is their meddling in Iraq. While I don't approve of such meddling in any way, it's understandable; Iran feels like the US is trying to surround it with pro-US allies and isolate it in the region, and Iran is pushing back in what ways it knows how. But Iran has neither the conventional nor nuclear capabilities to launch an offensive campaign. Iran's greatest threat lies in its ability to manipulate, from Hezbollah in Lebanon to Shiite force in Iraq.

So why the tough stance? Does "no change in policy" mean war or airstrikes are still an option? And if so, why? I can't seem to find some other imminent threat that must be stopped, so does the Bush administration simply want to take down this regime to establish US hegemony in the Middle East?

This lack of policy shift is frustrating, and is likely to frustrate the allies that Bush had successfully collected to pressure and isolate Iran. Should he frustrate them too much, he will lose their support entirely, and his outward Iran toughness may be the very force that unravels his Iran policy.
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