Incorrigible Iran

By Jeffrey Goldberg

In an important piece, Michael Singh argues that Iran's nuclear program -- now suffering from the effects of the Esther computer virus (that's the way I prefer to think of the Stuxnet virus, in any case) -- is only one of the Teheran-created problems the West is grappling with incompletely:

In a four-day journey at the beginning of November that took him through Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and Benin, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki asserted that the United States was "displeased with the expansion of relations between Iran and African countries," and opined that while the U.S. had a "thirst for power," Iran practiced the subtler "power of logic."  He described his top priority in Africa as "the exportation of technical and engineering services."

Less than two weeks later, Mottaki had to hastily return to West Africa to deal with the exposure by Nigerian authorities of another, more nefarious export: rocket launchers, grenades, and other illicit arms disguised as building materials and accompanied, apparently, by two members of the elite "Quds Force" unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

The contrast between Iran's public campaign to drum up diplomatic support and build economic ties to stave off increasing isolation and its shadowy network of arms smuggling, support for terrorism, and subversive activities serve as a stark reminder of the nature of the Iranian regime and the dangers it poses well beyond its own borders, and well beyond the nuclear issue. 


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/11/incorrigible-iran/67060/