Iran and the US

Sobering OpenDemocracy piece by Paul Rogers about the escalating conflict between Iran and the US. Excerpt:

This fundamental clash of perceptions between Washington and Tehran shows no sign of diminishing. Indeed, the current Iranian rhetoric simply makes it easier for the United States (or Israel) to consider the use of force if diplomacy fails to fix the nuclear issue. The problem for these prospective assailants is that any such action might entail serious and unexpected escalation.

Iran would have several options in the event of a US or Israeli attack: direct Revolutionary Guard involvement across the border in Iraq, making the predicament of US forces almost impossible; encouraging Hizbollah to open a “Lebanon front” with Israel; even the temporary closure of the Straits of Hormuz to create an oil-market panic. The stakes are therefore very high and it will take some extraordinary efforts by diplomats, mediators and others – including the Russians – to encourage the Washington and Tehran administrations to acquire a realistic sense of each other’s point of view…