The Japan Option


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Steve Hynd says:

    O’course, all the evidence gathered by U.S. intelligence (according to Dennis Blair) and the IAEA (according to Mohammed el-Baradei) is that Iran has already decided to go for the Japan Option. So why don’t the Obama administration (i.e. the rest of it) just folow Blair’s lead and recognise that instead of rattling sabers and uttering falsehoods?

    Regards, Steve HyndReport

  2. Avatar greginak says:

    “The only thing we can count on is Tehran’s continued recalictrance in the face of any attempts at diplomacy. ”

    umm No.

    Iran has been willing to deal with us (and bush refused) and has a sizable part of their population who wants normalized relations with us.

    Iran is in an election cycle which has a big affect on their discourse. they have a reactionary, hawkish party that only believes in threats and bluster which will show its worst side during the election. sort of like America. no Iranian pol wants to be seen as an American dupe so it will be hard for even the moderates to be all mellow and cool with us lest they be demonized by the Iranian version of the republican party.Report

  3. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I agree that Iran will eventually wheel and deal, but in the mean time we will see lots of pomp and chest beating and yes, recalcitrance from Tehran. The point is, it’s posturing. We can’t say “See, they don’t want to talk – so don’t appease them!” We have to view it as what it is, which is essentially just one tactic in the diplomatic dance…Report

  4. Avatar Roque Nuevo says:

    There are three issues with respect to our relationship with Iran, according to Stratfor:

    To [Iran], Obama has not addressed the core issues between the two countries[i.e., the nuclear problem and support for Hizbollah and Hamas]. In fact, apart from videos, Obama’s position on Iran does not appear different from the Bush position. The Iranian leadership does not see why it should respond more favorably to the Obama administration than it did to the Bush administration. Tehran wants to be very sure that Obama understands that the willingness alone to talk is insufficient; some indications of what is to be discussed and what might be offered are necessary….
    Moreover, Tehran dislikes the Obama-Petraeus strategy in Afghanistan. That strategy involves talking with the Taliban, a group that Iran has been hostile toward historically. The chance that the United States might install a Taliban-linked government in Afghanistan represents a threat to Iran second only to the threat posed to it by Iraq.

    What Walt says makes sense: Iran has legitimate security concerns that must be addressed if there is to be any agreement with us; satisfactory solutions for Iran’s legitimate security concerns will be the most effective way to stop Iran’s support for Hamas and Hizbollah and its nuclear program.

    The problem is how to achieve this. Walt doesn’t even try to provide an answer and the article he links to doesn’t either. All it does is assume that Iran gives up its nuclear program and support for Hamas and Hizbollah in return for normalized relations with us and investment opportunities for our corporations in Iran.

    It’s obvious that the present strategy is not working but what would you propose in its place? Do you really believe that Iran will give up its goal to lead the world Islamic revolution, and thus give up its nuclear program and its support for Hizbollah and Hamas, for international recognition and the opportunities that US investment in their economy provides? I just don’t see how this is possible because if it were, it would have been done decades ago. Iran will not give up its whole reason for being, which is the world Islamic revolution, for our recognition and investment.Report