How George Kennan is still the best guide to today's villain inside a victim behind a veil. / KARIM SADJADPOUR
13-Oct-2010 (3 comments)

For three decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has bedeviled the United States, resisting both incentives and disincentives and working all the while to foil American designs in the Middle East. If 20th-century Russia was to Winston Churchill a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, for observers of contemporary Iran, the Islamic Republic often resembles a villain inside a victim behind a veil.

Seeking to understand their mysterious foe, American analysts most commonly invoke three historical analogies to explain its character and future trajectory: Red China, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. The chosen metaphor pretty much dictates the proposed response, and most prescriptions for U.S. policy have come down to one of these variations: attempt to coax the Iranian regime into modernity; forget the diplomatic niceties and "pre-emptively" attack it to prevent or delay its acquisition of nuclear weapons; or contain it in hopes it will change or collapse under the weight of its internal contradictions.

recommended by Darius Kadivar



I agree, DK

by Cost-of-Progress on

This excerpt, however, says it all:

“….the anti-Americanism of Iran's hard-liners is driven in no small part by self-preservation. They are acutely aware of the argument made by many Iran analysts over the years that a rapprochement with the United States could spur unpredictable reforms that would significantly dilute their hold on power. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the powerful Guardian Council, put it plainly in a 2009 interview with Etemad newspaper: "If pro-American tendencies come to power in Iran, we have to say goodbye to everything. After all, anti-Americanism is among the main features of our Islamic state."

As I always have say to my western friends, ironically, Iran is the only country in the region whose population are pro-Us but their so called "leaders" beat the anti american drum continuously.

Compare that to places like, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, and many many more "friendly nations".




Hoshang Targol

Did some one say: "stuck in Cold War mentality!"

by Hoshang Targol on

Despite Kennan's and all other Cold warriors "analysis and policies" USSR fell not due to Western efforts but its own corruption and stupidities ( invasion of Afghanistan,...)

see Perry Anderson, " Two Revolutions",  New Left Review.

BTW: what's Sadjadpour's academic C.V., he had a very hard time just recognizing and understanding the conflict between AN and Larijanis? Another Iranian Expert!

Darius Kadivar

Excellent Analysis by Karim SADJADPOUR

by Darius Kadivar on

A Must Read !

An excellent analysis by Karim Sadjadpour on how to deal with Iran on the Long Term based on a parrallel made with a paper written by an American Diplomat George Kennan at the begining of the Cold War on how to deal with the Soviet Union. I just hope we won't have to wait as long to see the IRI Collapse as did the Soviet Union ...