Friday, March 04, 2005

Anyone interested in just what to do about Iran ought to read this post/essay by Jeremy Reff.

There's a lot of ins and outs when it comes to Iran: for instance, the fact that the EU has adopted the country as its first big test case for a unified foreign policy, or that Russia has real economic and political incentives to ally itself with the country, or that the Bush administration, by its involvement in Iraq, has made the country vital to our national interest but has left us largely impotent to deal with Khomeni's regime by either finance or force.

Reff's essay elaborates all these factors at length, and comes to a conclusion I very much agree with:

Rather than shrinking from the eventuality of a nuclear Iran, we should think of ways in which to make proliferation contingent on the development of a liberal Iran. This is not to dismiss security concerns. But ... the West's best defense against nuclear proliferation is with state engagement rather than criminal interdiction.
If Iran truly has Russia on its side, then isolating it does nothing. Fostering its liberal development is the only way to go.


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