The road to Tehran

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


    Back in 2003 there seemed many good reasons to invade Iraq, but in the four years since Saddam fell they have all dropped away. Even with 30,000 more troops, few Americans still hope they can build a free and democratic Iraq, and fewer believe President George Bush any more when he says that fighting in the Sunni Triangle protects them from terrorism at home. Many Americans still worry that withdrawal would humiliate their country, but most now accept that persisting in failure is humiliating too, and young Americans keep dying. So what keeps America in Iraq, apart from the lonely stubbornness of the man in the White House? The answer is Iran. America is stuck in Iraq because Iraq stands between Iran and the rest of the Middle East, especially the Gulf states. Iran is the natural hegemon of the Gulf; its 70 million people dwarf the other Gulf states' small populations, and its economy is second only to Saudi Arabia's. Since Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution deposed the shah in 1978 and seized American hostages in 1979, Americans have seen Iran as implacably hostile to American interests and values and have feared that its politically potent form of Islamic fundamentalism might spread.
    Original languageEnglish
    No.12 April 2007
    Specialist publicationThe Age
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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