Sunday, October 15, 2006

Iran: Making uranium while the sun shines

Economist, October 5-Iran's ruling clerics are tactically canny. With their prestige enhanced by Hizbullah's perceived defeat of Israel, it might be thought that now would be a good time for them to press Mr Bush, whose designs in the Middle East and Afghanistan are acutely vulnerable to Iranian interference, for a deal on terms amenable to the Islamic Republic. But the Iranians, says another experienced European diplomat, “do not know how to use their good fortune.”

Puffed up after its successes in Iraq and Lebanon, Iran's leaders may not see that, the more they stall, and the more America's allies prevaricate over sanctions, the closer America and perhaps Israel come to taking matters into their own hands and launching military strikes. Reaching out to America would take a vision, courage and authority that the post-Khomeini generation does not command. Far easier, while the sun shines, to enrich uranium.