For the Record: Iran's Quiet Revolution

Published: Wednesday, 08/23/2006 12:00 am EDT

The IAEA has yet to find any evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, and even if Iran's nuclear ambitions include acquiring the bomb, U.S. intelligence suggests that such an achievement is likely 10 years away. Fears of an imminent crisis, therefore, appear exaggerated. But when the U.S. agrees to assist India in its civil nuclear program despite that country's nuclear weapons, when it avoids confronting Pakistan or Israel on their nuclear arsenals, and when the Pentagon is devising next-generation nukes of its own, it is not difficult for Ahmadinejad to depict the U.S. as both the "Global Arrogance" and a nuclear provocateur. As favourably disposed to the U.S. as many Iranians are–partly due to their infatuation with American cultural products and an authentic desire for the expanded freedoms the U.S. has publicly advocated–they have rallied around Iran's pursuit of nuclear power as a symbol of national pride.

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