The intelligence outfit Stratfor claims Iran is following North Korea’s strategy:
“It should also be noted that other countries have learned the ferocious, weak, crazy maneuver from North Korea. Iran is the best pupil. It has convincingly portrayed itself as ferocious via its nuclear program, endlessly and quite publicly pursuing its program without ever quite succeeding. It is also persistently seen as weak, perpetually facing economic crises and wrathful mobs of iPod-wielding youths. Whether Iran can play the weakness card as skillfully as North Korea remains unclear — Iran just doesn’t have the famines North Korea has.
“Additionally, Iran’s rhetoric at times can certainly be considered crazy: Tehran has carefully cultivated perceptions that it would wage nuclear war even if this meant the death of all Iranians.”
I don’t see it. I think Stratfor is way off the mark. I agree that Iran is weak. It’s in the shadow of Russia. I think Iran is moving toward a Swiss strategy. It’s positioning itself against violence and extremism. This is a wise strategy that makes the sanctions and warmongering against Iran look extreme. It makes an unprovoked attack on Iran by any country look like the aggression that it is. It enhances Iran’s position in the region as a voice for peace and reconciliation. Iran is drawing upon its long history and culture to position itself as a wise and mature nation. It’s a strategy that makes a weak country appear to be the victim of stronger countries, making the U.S. look like an extreme and uncultured bully. It makes Israel look unnecessarily belligerent and threatening.11:06 am on December 25, 2013 Email Michael S. Rozeff