Jeffrey LewisA European Perspective on Iran

Peter Beaumont, writing in the British paper The Observer, captures my feelings about the role of domestic politics in Iran perfectly.

The European view, which has sought to negotiate a uranium enrichment freeze rather than confront Tehran, is more subtle and factors in the full spectrum of Iran’s intentions. Iran, seen from this vantage point, is an infinitely more complex construction, with power structures that are competitive and contradictory – with the greatest competition for a more open society coming from Iran’s younger generation. Iran, too, displays a curious mind set. Through its culture and recent history, it sees itself as a player on the world stage. It pricks America in Iraq because it can, not because it has greater ambitions than to have a friendly state next door. Its endless foot-dragging over nuclear inspections and declarations, seen in this light, is inward looking, defensive and as much about pride as hostile intentions.

If you read one thing, read this. If you read two things, this one by Bob Einhorn ain’t bad.