Thursday, September 15, 2005

India & Iran ... Two days ago over Tapped, Matt Yglesias published a brief post on Iran. The gist of his argument was this: "Both militarily (thanks to the awkward position the Iraq War's put us in) and economically (thanks to the energy situation) Iran has more capacity to damage our interests than we do to damage Iran's."

That's more or less what I've been saying here for a while now. Simply put we have no recourse for imposing any kind of hardline policy on Iran. Large-scale military strikes are out, as are, for different reasons, small-scale ones. Meanwhile, national economic sanctions aren't working because of the energy crisis, and specific corporate sanctions wouldn't work because the individual companies in Iran are typically Russian banks which operate outside our purview.

As a sign of just how desperate the administration is getting, the Times reported today that the U.S. is now leaning heavily on India to join the EU effort to refer Iran's nuclear activity to the United Nations Security Council. It'll be interesting to see which way India goes on this. On the one hand, they should side with us because of the nuclear technology we promised them this summer; on the other, India's alternate estival accord was with Iran, which agreed to a pipeline deal that would pump natural gas directly into India.

But the real trouble here is that the U.S. should have to rely on India at all. Bush administration policies may not be directly responsible for the current political climate within Iran, but they are responsible for having deprived the State Department of the resources needed to confront and contain Ahmadinejad's nuclear program effectively. Beginning with the rampant unilateralism prior to the Iraq war, we have systemically stripped ourselves of the political leverage necessary to engage Tehran successfully.

Consequently the regional threat Iran now poses is very much a problem of our own making. And while it would be nice if India opts to help us out of this mess, we should bear in mind that it should never have come to this point in the first place.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having corresponded with various members of the International community, I dipise this rhetoric from the Talking Monkey and Spineless cheney and the media blitz from the American Traitor rove.Downing Street blind sided these FOOLS,Canceling the test in Nevada has fustrated them, so right after the Talking Monkeys state of the Snooze, he condemns Iran, how predictable. One last note how come NO ONE in the Media or Democratic party is screaming about the TRAITOR CHENEY, and ROVE who outed a ACTIVE CIA operative.

7:25 AM  

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