Alireza Nader

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We've heard a great deal about how Washington is reacting to President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, so perhaps it’s worth paying some attention to how Hagel is playing in Tehran.

Some U.S. pundits have warned that Hagel’s nomination sends a bad signal to the Iranian regime. After all, Hagel has opposed U.S. sanctions against Iran and called a war against Iran unfeasible. Hagel’s critics argue that the simple fact of his nomination telegraphs that the Obama administration isn’t serious about using force to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions, undermining U.S. diplomacy and making a military conflict more likely rather than less.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iran’s threats to close the Straits of Hormuz in response to the latest American-led sanctions may be empty posturing. Still, Iran’s slow march toward a nuclear weapons capability has dramatically increased tensions between Washington and Tehran. The Obama administration has not taken the option of a military strike off the table, and one must assume that the Iranians have not done so either.

In these circumstances, it is important to realistically judge the nature and extent of the Iranian threat. For all its bluster, the Iranian regime is more vulnerable than at any time in its 32-year history. Internally, Iran is constrained by deep political divisions, civil strife and a woeful economy.…  Seguir leyendo »