Thursday, April 05, 2007

From Iran With Love

From AP: Iran gains in standoff with Britain.

Iran emerged with a measure of strength from its standoff with Britain over the captured sailors — deflecting attention from its disputed nuclear program and proving it can cause trouble in the Middle East when it chooses.
Yet the country's hardline leaders also shied away from all-out confrontation with the West — backing down once they had flexed their power, apparently worried they might go too far. ...

Whether that is a sign of internal dissent in Iran or finely honed, clever brinkmanship, Iran clearly gained some respect from the dispute — at least enough to make the West cautious that the Islamic regime would be willing to dive into such a tussle again. ...

Iran can't help but be pleased that for several weeks, international focus was off the [Iranian nuclear] issue.

But if Western pressure on the nuclear program gathers again, Iran will most likely respond with the same mix of fierce rhetoric and pragmatic dealing it showed during the British standoff.

Ahmadinejad hinted at that even as he announced the British sailors would go free. Speaking of U.N. Security Council sanctions that have targeted Iran's banks over the nuclear issue, he said: "If they want to create disturbances ... for parts of our economy, (our) banks, we will retaliate."

Interestingly, if the URL is any indication,
the original title for this article was "Iran Out On Top."

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