Sunday, February 19, 2012

Iran, India and the persian puzzle

This is perhaps what the expression ‘setting the cat among the pigeons’ means. Just when Israel was putting up that little show, going around the world crying about the way Iran was targeting its peaceful diplomats around the world, the ayatollahs come up with their own little performance taking everyone’s breath away.

Not that Ahmadinejad didn’t warn us. As always, everyone was sufficiently intimated of the glad tidings on the nuclear front were on their way. Yet it was a master stroke. Give the Iranians their due. If the Israelis are known for their cunning and craft of obfuscation and manipulation, it’s not easy beating the Persians at mind games either. After all, they invented the game of chess.

Defying years of Western sanctions and the endless talk of war by Israel, the Iranians seem to have gotten another decisive step closer to their goal. And they have all the players and pawns where they want them to be. And for all their bluff and bluster, Israel and its guardian angels can’t do much about it.

As a former Indian envoy to Iran put it, this is like the classic Persian puzzle. Iran takes one step forward and waits and watches for the reaction of adversaries before taking the next cautious step. Call it the Persian incrementalism or whatever but it seems to have worked so far.
Aijaz Zaka Syed in Foreign Policy Journal. Here

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