Perspective On Iran

Joe Klein's latest thoughts:

Despite the rants about "mad mullahs" and neoconservative calls for regime change, the Iranians have been careful about their foreign policy in recent years. As the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate found, they respond to international pressure. They are an obnoxious regime, but only a second-level danger to the U.S. The Obama Administration should continue its attempts to engage the Iranians while preparing to contain and deter them if they actually try to build a bomb. It should not revert to the foolish bellicosity of the last Administration. And there is good news: Ahmadinejad assured us that he would not attempt to change Iran's constitution and run for a third term in 2013. That should come as some small relief to the mass of Iranians who yearn to breathe free.

Well, Khamenei is the real problem. And given that Ahmadinejad was happy to institute a coup to stay in power this year, I have no trust in anything he says. But that does not mean we have to resort to asinine Krauthammer-style "It's Munich!" hysteria. It may be that we can help manage a situation in which the Iranian people slowly but inexorably take their country back from the brink, just as Americans recently did theirs'.