Reading the IR tarot cards or staring into the crystal meth ball for future current events, the issue of a nuked up, gay free, girl fearing Khomeinist Iran is certainly at the top of the list.
A recent cyber tete' a tete' with the super savvy avuncular Dr Walid Phares may shed some light on the future by considering the past:
"There have been two faces of Iranian strategy - one from 1979 to 2003, the other from 2003 onward. The latter has been much of the same but since the United States’ invasion of Iraq, Iran feels surrounded by American presence in Iraq on the one side and Afghanistan on the other.
Between 1979 and 2003 these policies and their implications have always been there. Iran always had a policy on Iraq all along.
"It was to bring down Hussein and bring about an Islamic Republic, dominated by Shia doctrine, in southern Iraq.
"From 2003 to 2005 there has simply been an accelerated reaction to Iraq and other events in the region. In support of their use of Hezbollah as a proxy for their geopolitical goals in the region, Iran diverted 300 million in funding for the group between 1982 and 2000.
"Other such examples of their policies and influence in the region are the long-standing strategic alliance with the Syrian regime as well as their support for militants in the Palestinian territories."It is in Iran’s interest to promote problems in Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. In dealing with Iran sanctions have a large role but this is only one piece of the process. Sanctions are meant to levy diplomatic leverage. Like sanctions, neither diplomacy nor military force will work alone.
" A coherent combination of these strategies must be applied. We cannot simply engage Iran for the sake of engaging. It is important to engage Iran at a senior level and then hold these figures accountable.
Stuff to consider -- and be on the look out for include - yet are not limited to:
1) Theological and political radicalization
2) Propaganda and psychological warfare
3) Violation of individual and collective human rights
4) Political and economic dislocations
5) Organized criminal activity
6) State-sponsored terror
7) Maritime threats in the gulf
8) Development of weapons of mass destruction
9) Employment of these weapons
10) Regional destabilization
"The bottom line with responses to Iran: we must look at diplomacy, the battle of ideas, economic sanctions/incentives, U.S. and European and Israeli missile defense, and military options.
Of course - if Mullahopolis develops a designer nuclear umberella of her own it is tough to imagine a regime, whose primary tenet faithfully upheld for decades is Great Satan hating, would be inclined to settle down.
Most likely she will feel like Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars III -- "Unlimited Power!"
Aggressive, ugly and down right mean.