Is Iran Really a Threat?

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Ben Cohen
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Every prominent American politician either believes or pretends they believe that Iran is a serious threat to America and the West. Is this really the case? When the regime spends about $9 billion a year on its military compared to the United States $660 billion, it's difficult to make the argument. Yet the Mitt Romneys, Sarah Palins and unfortunately, Barack Obamas, continue to hype the threat comparing the regime to the second incarnation of Nazi Party. Why is this the case?

Noam Chomsky breaks it down:

Though the Iranian threat is not military aggression, that does not mean
that it might be tolerable to Washington. Iranian deterrent capacity
is considered an illegitimate exercise of sovereignty that interferes
with US global designs. Specifically, it threatens US control of Middle
East energy resources, a high priority of planners since World War II.
As one influential figure advised, expressing a common understanding,
control of these resources yields "substantial control of the world" (A.
A. Berle).

But Iran's threat goes beyond deterrence. It is also seeking to expand
its influence. Iran's "current five-year plan seeks to expand
bilateral, regional, and international relations, strengthen Iran's ties
with friendly states, and enhance its defense and deterrent
capabilities. Commensurate with that plan, Iran is seeking to increase
its stature by countering U.S. influence and expanding ties with
regional actors while advocating Islamic solidarity." In short, Iran is
seeking to "destabilize" the region, in the technical sense of the term
used by General Petraeus. US invasion and military occupation of Iran's
neighbors is "stabilization." Iran's efforts to extend its influence in
neighboring countries is "destabilization," hence plainly illegitimate.

We'll continue to hear more rhetoric against Iran from the mainstream politicians, but hopefully saner heads will prevail and America will stop short of invading another Muslim nation in the Middle East. However, the US is ratcheting up sanctions against the Iran, and it is unlikely that the country will sit back and allow itself to be dictated to.

Expect some tense drama in the region over the coming months.