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Iran Embraces the Bush Doctrine

Late last week, Iran dropped hints that it is ready for talks with Western powers over its nuclear program and pending sanctions. Given the mullahs’ history, many observers (Via Meadia included), have reasons to doubt their sincerity. Today’s news justifies this skepticism. This morning, Iranian deputy chief of armed forces announced that Iran would take a harder line, threatening preemptive action against any potential threats to the nuclear program: “Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions.” This announcement comes on the heels of reports that IAEA inspectors had been denied access to a possible covert weapons program site near Tehran.

Iran’s sudden embrace of the controversial Bush Doctrine is bad news any way you slice it, but as the Times notes, the opacity of the Iranian political process makes it difficult to assess whether the deputy chief’s comments represent the views of the mullahs or other, less important political actors.

One thing is clear enough, however. Any reports of an Iranian change of heart should be taken with a grain of salt.

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  • WigWag

    One other way to read this is that it is an example of Iran speaking loudly but carrying a small stick. Wouldn’t one expect that an Iran willing to make serious concessions during a negotiating process is more likely to make highly rancorous comments to demonstrate to its own citizens that it is not backing down?

    Would an Iran that was willing to strike preemptively be likely to telegraph that fact in advance?

    I could easily be mistaken, but it seems to me that one possible way of looking at the Iran situation is that the louder everyone on all sides talks, the less likely an actual violent confrontation really is.

  • Toni

    Well, this seems to me a good test:

    How does the world know what the military guy said? Did the quote appear in state-controlled media? If so, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that he deliberately threatened a stick to tell the world that letting the IAEA nibble on a few carrots is not the complete view of the mullahs and the military which enforces their edicts?

    As an American pol would put it, “All options are on the table.”

    What is opaque about “the Iranian political process”? Like the Kremlin, Saddam, Mexican drug gangs, or the Cuban Castros and Venezuela’s Chavez, the military-political complex has no intention of relinquishing power until forced to. When the Iranian mullah-military-“elected polician” complex thinks its on a mission from Allah, I think the logical assumption is that the complex intends to stall until they have The Bomb.

    Iran has been stringing the West along with a pose of complex “moderates” at least since Reagan’s ill-fated secret overture. Why should the U.S., Europe or any rational observer think Iran’s totalitarian leadership in 2012 is not ferociously committed to holding onto and augmenting its power?

    I really don’t get it. Iran seems to me to be a classic case of outsiders striving against all evidence to think someone somewhere in the Iranian power structure is innocent of theocratic military ambitions.

  • Mrs. Davis
  • Toni

    Remember, I reasoned earlier that Iran’s isolated theocracy might believe Allah would sanction an attack on the perfidious Jewish state. Why NOT believe that the theocrats find the Great Satan’s Bush Doctrine a plausible way to hold onto power?

  • Cunctator

    As US power and credibility continue to wane under Obama, and senior US military leaders (such as Dempsey) show nothing but timidity when publicly discussing Iran, Teheran’s approach is entirely logical. It is borne of a justifiable contempt of Washington’s display of weakness. We (the peoples of the West) can only hope that someday soon, the US will stand tall again and make petty tyrants like the Iranian regime tremble.

  • Brendan Doran

    If we act militarily, it should not be just against the nuclear capabilities, it should be to gut them militarily, economically, politically. Especially the oil.

    It requires a sustained campaign, not an invasion. But we destroy them and their infrastructure, and seize IGRC assets everywhere. Their money and their people.

    This is not an enemy to be trifled with. Gut them or do nothing.

  • Brendan Doran

    To add – we gutted the Serbs with no real interests at stake and no enmity. We can more than justify gutting Iran.

  • Some Sock Puppet

    That could be the absolute dumbest possible thing they ould actually do. If it’s against Israel, they will not respond gently regardless. If it’s against the US you have a people sick to death of the ME, scared to death of their government, and a trigger-happy president who likes to just do what he wants.

    And I mean that on all the levels it applies. I don’t trust Barry and Company on this one. I don’t trust them at all, and I think they’ll use this crisis.
    Any group that would use Fast and Furious and Acorn is not a group to underestimate as to ambitions.

    As far as taking Iran on, I’m with Brendan.

    It must be a total break it and make sure it stays broken situation.

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