Jim Lobe has an interesting post on the recent ease in tensions as more opposition builds to an Iran-attack favored by Cheney. He cites a Financial Times article with Adm. Fallon’s statements, but also notes that even staunch pro-war advocates like Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute on Near East Policy are saying that another war “would probably not be a good idea.”
Lobe sees the continuing rise in oil prices, the decline of the U.S dollar and particularly the developing events in Pakistan as major factors for this shift.
Not only is the crisis necessarily displacing Iran in the media spotlight, but it is also diverting the time and energy of key policymakers within the administration, including the vice president’s staff and deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams, who is also in charge of the White House’s badly tattered “Global Democracy Strategy.” And it gives Iran another card to play in the high-stakes regional poker game that is being played out….
If Tehran wishes to add to Washington’s regional headaches in Afghanistan and Iraq, Baluchistan offers it a new opportunity (although one that could easily blow back across the border, too). In any event, nuclear-armed Pakistan’s suddenly apparent fragility once again underlines the importance of Iran as both a relatively tranquil island in an expanding sea of turbulence and as a potentially critical player in determining whether the region stabilizes or explodes further.
Irancove @ November 13, 2007