Elements within Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have an economic motivation in keeping Iran relatively isolated in the world, and in encouraging the latest domestic crackdowns.
need for engagement with Iran is often cited as a major step in easing Middle East tensions and a matter of necessity to contend with Iran’s nuclear ambitions—yet remains a very difficult approach to implement.
From the diplomatic perspective, Tehran may feel like it has chastened the Europeans to think twice before working in concert with the U.S., but in fact they’ve likely achieved the opposite effect.
The U.N. on Thursday adopted a version of a British statement calling for the release of 15 sailors and marines who are being held in Iran, while Iran wants Britain to admit its sailors entered Iranian waters. Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, appeared on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer to discuss the rising tensions.
As the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq enters its fifth year, conflicts and political rivalries in the region appear to be assuming a sectarian edge unseen since the Iraq-Iran war. This time round, though, a new element is in play. It has to do with what is perceived as the growing role being played by Arab Shia who many see is making a radical break with a long tradition of political inactivity.