A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, November 30, 2009

Those Iranian Nuclear Plants: Sky May Not Be Falling After All

Despite a lot of alarmism over the holiday (whether Thanksgiving or ‘Id al-‘Adha) over Iran's announced plans to build ten more nuclear plants, I'm noting a certain rather welcome lack of alarm from people who follow the issue (outside the political sphere, at least):
  • A piece by Gary Sick in which he notes that Ahmadinejad and the Cabinet are not actually the key decision-makers on the nuclear program and offers other useful commentary suggesting this is more bluster than reality;
Of course none of this means that a resolution is close at hand; it's a high-stakes poker game and Ahmadinejad (who isn't in charge of the nuclear program) is posturing: the question is how close to the brink Iran is willing to go. There are still plenty of voices in the US and Israel calling for a military strike, so brinksmanship is rather dangerous, but the sky does not actually seem to be falling.

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