Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't Make Him Mad, Mullahs

Leslie Gelb believes that President Obama's Iranian initiative is likely to succeed, opening the way for productive negotiations over its nuclear program. And yet if Obama is rebuffed, Gelb worries that he might gravitate too far in the other direction:
Obama's moment of truth will come if Iran doesn't, ultimately, want to play.... Will he exaggerate Iran's power, as the Israelis and neoconservatives routinely do, turning a relatively modest regional player into an existential threat — mad mullahs ready to blow up the world? Will he allow Republicans to force him into a tough-guy pose for domestic consumption? Will he suffer the delusion that U.S., or Israeli, power can "take out" the Iranian nuclear program without disastrous retribution?

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