A Cold War With Iran?

Daniel Larison joins the throng of skeptics:

The only similarity between what is happening today and the Cold War is that both do involve containment doctrines of a sort, which is to say that both situations involve adversarial relations between Washington and another power.  That’s it.  Before the invasion, standard U.S. policy in this part of the region was “dual containment,” targeting both Iraq and Iran.  Now that containing Iraq is not in the picture any longer, containment has focused entirely on Iran.  Obviously.  The recently announced weapons sales to the GCC states are a new part of this long-standing policy of anti-Iranian containment.  In other words, the only thing remotely Cold War-like in Iran policy has been going on for years before 9/11, and most of our Iran policy is not really anything like U.S. Soviet policy during the Cold War.

It's hard to disagree. I'd add this. Our goal should surely be to become allies eventually with a less theocratic and much more democratic Iran. We mustn't conflate the regime with the country or the people. And I'm worried that a process of demonization might do that.